Health Pain

Treatment of Knee Cartilage Injury: First Aid

Treatment of Knee Cartilage Injury Host and care

Knee Cartilage Injury can occur suddenly, for example when we are exercising or have an accident. First aid for knee cartilage injuries should be done while waiting for further treatment from the doctor.

Cartilage has a variety of functions, including connecting one bone to another, supporting the surrounding body tissue, reducing friction between bones, preventing joint damage, supporting body weight, and helping us move freely.

However, just like other parts of the body, cartilage can also be injured, one of which is knee cartilage injury.

First Aid for Knee Cartilage Injury

Knee cartilage injuries can be caused by a hard impact, leaning on or holding the weight of the body suddenly, as well as minor knee injuries that occur over a long period of time.

Knee cartilage injuries can also be caused by certain diseases, such as arthritis, gout, or cartilage infection.

Knee cartilage injuries can cause swelling, and great pain, and make movement unfree. For first aid for cartilage in an injured knee, you just need to do these simple steps:

  • Protect the cartilage from further injury.
  • Rest for at least 48–72 hours after the injury occurred.
  • Compress the injured knee with an ice cube wrapped in a cloth or towel, for 10–30 minutes.
  • Compress again for 15 minutes every 2 hours, during the first 48-72 hours after the injury occurs.
  • Press or wrap the knee with a bandage, to help the knee rest and limit swelling.
  • Raise your legs so that they are higher than your chest to limit and reduce swelling in the knees.
  • Immediately see a physiotherapist for further treatment.
  • Do not shower with hot water or compress the knee with a warm water compress or heat pack.
  • Do not consume alcohol. Alcohol makes the swelling in the knee worse and slows down the healing process.
  • Do not run so that the knee cartilage injury does not get worse.
  • Do not massage the injured knee as it will aggravate the swelling.

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Further Care

After performing first aid for a knee cartilage injury, immediately visit a doctor for further treatment, such as:

  • Physiotherapy, which is an exercise to strengthen the muscles around the knee, as well as help reduce pain and pressure on the joint
  • Administration of non-steroid pain relievers (NSAIDs) , to help reduce swelling and pain
  • Provision of mobility aids, such as walking sticks or leg braces
  • The operation, if the knee cartilage injury is severe enough and does not improve by itself or with previous methods

Knee cartilage surgery is usually done by inserting a small instrument into the knee joint. For more extensive damage, major knee surgery is required to repair the damage to the cartilage and surrounding tissue.

If you have a knee cartilage injury that causes severe pain, severe swelling, or difficulty moving, don’t hesitate to see a doctor immediately.

The sooner a knee cartilage injury receives medical treatment, the better the healing process and the lower the complications that may occur.

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NHS.UK (2019). Health AZ. Cartilage damage – Overview.
NIH US National Library of Medicine MedlinePlus. Cartilage Disorders.
Mayo Clinic (2021). Diseases & Conditions. Knee Pain.
Starr, O. Patient (2017). Meniscal Tears.
Cluett, J. Verywell Health (2021). Meniscus vs. Cartilage Tear of the Knee.

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