Treat Articular Cartilage Damage to Restore Comfort and Movement

Treatment for Damaged or Worn Articular Cartilage

Apr 19, 2016 @ 11:05 AM — by Aron D Rovner, MD 
Tagged with: Back Pain | Surgery

Cartilage is a tough, yet flexible tissue that is found in many areas of the body. This rubbery material plays an important role in supporting and protecting the bones so that they function properly without causing the body any pain. Unfortunately, this material can easily become damaged, or be worn down over time due to continual strain (as is often the case for athletes). Dr. Aron Rovner and his team of experienced spine doctors practice sports medicine to restore comfort and mobility to patients who are suffering as the result of damaged articular cartilage (the cartilage that resides in a joint). From non-invasive to minimally invasive, this team of doctors offers a range of treatments for damaged or worn articular cartilage so that our New Jersey patients can resume a healthy and active lifestyle free of pain.

Side Effects of Damaged Articular Cartilage

The cartilage in the joints is there for a reason. It serves several important functions, including acting as a cushion to reduce friction between the joints. When this cartilage becomes damaged or worn down, the joints lack that supportive cushion, and several side effects may develop as a result. The most common side effects of damaged or worn articular cartilage include the following:

  • Inflammation and swelling of the joints
  • Discomfort and pain ranging from moderate to severe
  • Limited mobility or limited joint functions (such as range limitations)
  • Joint stiffness

The most common body part to be affected by damaged or worn articular cartilage is the knees, but any joint may be affected, including the elbows, wrists, ankles, shoulders, and hip bones.


Most patients who suffer from damaged or worn articular cartilage are athletes or active individuals who are eager to get back to their physical routine. In order to help patients eliminate pain and restore mobility and range of functions, without submitting them to lengthy recovery periods, we believe it is best to treat this condition as conservatively as possible. We always begin with non-invasive treatment options. If these treatments fail to provide desired results, Dr. Rovner does offer minimally invasive surgical treatments as well.

Many patients respond favorably to the non-invasive treatment techniques offered by Dr. Rovner and his staff. These treatments include physical therapy and anti-inflammatory injections.

  • Physical therapy: When a joint has been injured, it is often best to mobilize and rest the joint for a small amount of time. However, it is then important to slowly exercise that joint in order to restore a full range of mobility. Exercises with a physical therapist can strengthen the joint over time in order to restore flexibility and mobility.
  • Injections: Dr. Rovner can inject anti-inflammatory medication directly into a damaged joint. This reduces swelling and can alleviate pain. While patients will need to undergo a series of injections to maintain comfort and mobility, a single injection can be effective for up to six months.

When conservative treatments do not provide the relief that we are hoping for, Dr. Rovner can perform surgery to treat damaged articular cartilage. Again, the goal is to get patients on the road to recovery as quickly as possible, so Dr. Rovner utilizes minimally invasive surgical techniques. These arthroscopic techniques result in minimal recovery, minimal scarring, and minimal discomfort. Dr. Rovner is happy to discuss these surgical options in further detail with those patients who require more extensive treatment.

Contact Us

If you are living with joint or back pain, our team of doctors can help restore your comfort and mobility. Contact us at New York Spine and Sports Surgery at your earliest convenience to learn more about the comprehensive range of treatments offered by our experienced doctors.