Dr. Kevin Yip

Dr Kevin Yip
Orthopaedic Surgeon
MBBS(UK), FRCS(EDIN), FAM(SING), FHKCOS(ORTHO)

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Articular cartilage injuries

The collagen tissue of the articular cartilage has less tensile strength in adolescents than in adults; thus children and young people can injure the articular cartilage more easily than adults as a result of sprains and direct blows. A prolonged extreme load on the knee joint, e.g. in downhill skiing or sailing, can result in injuries to the articular cartilage of the patella. In this condition, the patellofemoral pain syndrome,pain arising from the inner surface of the patella or around the patella is triggered mainly by running uphill and downhill and by squatting. The articular cartilage of the patella softens and debris gathers. Since the cartilage does not contain any nervous tissue it is not clear why pain is triggered, but it may originate from the synovial membrane or subchondral bone.

The causes of chondromalacia patellae are not known for certain either, but the condition responds to heat therapy and isometric training of the anterior and posterior thigh muscles. Another cartilage injury that occurs in adolescents is osteochondritis dissecans in which a part of the articular cartilage and bone that has been damaged breaks away and can become free, moving inside the joint where it causes problems.The diagnosis of these cartilage injuries is made with the help of arthroscopy.

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