Cartilage injuries happen more frequently than many people realize. Sometimes, they manifest as stiffness in the joint or you can find swelling in the area. In most cases, one is barely able to move. Since the cartilage is not like other body tissue because of a lack in blood supply, it does not heal as fast.
When you visit doctors for sports injuries in Provo for cartilage damage, they will be looking to restore either of two functions: the shock-absorbing feature or the work of cartilage as a mold. As a mold, cartilage gives shape to body parts, such as the nose or the ear.
There are three types of cartilages, and each can suffer injury differently.
Elastic cartilage is the most supple and springy type. It forms the outside of the ear, parts of the nose and the epiglottis. A blow to your ear, for example, can deform it, a condition called “cauliflower ear” that tends to affect rugby players.
This is the toughest of the three types and can support a lot of weight. You can usually find it between the spine’s vertebrae and between the pelvis and hipbones. When you injure the fibrocartilage, it is often called a slipped disc.
Also called articular cartilage, this type is tough and springy. It is located between joints, ribs and around the windpipe. Damage to this cartilage can be so severe that it causes a loss in mobility. Hyaline cartilage can suffer damage from accidents where you land on your knees.
They can also suffer damage over an extended period due to wear and tear.
Fortunately, cartilage damage is treatable in most cases. You can undergo either non-surgical treatment such as physiotherapy, or you can seek minor surgeries. As a rule of thumb, if during sporting activities you injure your knee, ears or nose, seek medical help even if you think the situation will resolve itself.