Osteoarthritis is the most common form of cartilage-related arthritis which involves wear-and-tear damage to the hard, slick coating that cushions the ends of bones where they form a joint. Once the cartilage is damaged, the underlying bones of the joint are exposed to grinding resistance which causes pain and restricted movement. Cartilage may get damaged over a long period due to excessive usage, or it can quickly degrade due to other systemic diseases and injuries.
Cartilage arthritis with minimal to moderate tissue damage can be treated with physical therapy combined with pain medication. At times injections may be required. This therapy can help improve the joint’s range of motion and strengthen the surrounding muscles reducing the pain. However, a structurally damaged cartilage may require surgical intervention.