Quadriceps tendon rupture

Injury to the articular cartilage

Fact Checked

At some point, some individuals have experienced injury to the articular cartilage. It is vital that you are prepared to care for the injury.


  • Impairment of the articular cartilage usually occurs after a disturbing, twisting damage to the knee. It is likely for this to take place along with other knee injuries.
  • The articular cartilage does not include any blood vessels or nerves but pain can occur which is usually felt around the joint line and during movement.
  • Knee appears swollen and painful when bearing weight.
  • Locking of the knee occurs if a piece of cartilage disrupts with the smooth movement of the joint.
    Articular cartilage injury
    Knee appears swollen and painful when bearing weight.

The history of the injury should be given by the individual once a doctor is consulted. Assessment of the knee joint might reveal joint swelling, locking and crepitus. An X-ray is often required but an MRI can provide the doctor with a view of the knee cartilage.


After sustaining an injury, the initial treatment involves the PRICE method.

  • Protect the area from further injury.
  • Rest the affected area, preferably with crutches during 24-48 hours.
  • Ice the affected area for 20 minutes during the initial 48 hours after the injury.
  • Compression using a bandage or a knee brace
  • Elevation using cushions or pillows above the level of the heart.

These measures along with pain medications will allow the initial pain and swelling to settle.

Physiotherapy might be useful to promote healing and minimize the formation of scar tissue. The treatment for severe cases or those that result to persistent symptoms is via surgery.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on articular cartilage injury is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage muscle and tendon injuries including injury to the articular cartilage by taking a standard first aid course with Victoria First Aid.

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