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Injury to the knee cartilage can occur suddenly, for example, when we are exercising or having an accident. First aid for knee cartilage injuries needs to be done while waiting for further treatment from the doctor
Cartilage has various functions, including connecting one bone to another, supporting surrounding body tissues, reducing friction between bones, preventing joint damage, supporting body weight, to helping us move freely.
However, just like any other part of the body, cartilage can also be injured, one of which is knee cartilage injury.
Knee Cartilage Injury First Aid
Injury to the knee cartilage can be caused by a sudden impact, resting or bearing weight on the body, or a minor knee injury that lasts for a long time.
Knee cartilage injuries can also be caused by certain diseases, such as arthritis, gout, or cartilage infections.
Knee cartilage injuries can cause swelling, intense pain, and make movement difficult. For first aid cartilage in an injured knee, you just need to do these simple steps:
- Protect cartilage from further injury.
- Rest for at least 48–72 hours after the injury.
- Compress the injured knee with ice cubes that have been wrapped in a cloth or towel, for 10–30 minutes.
- Compress again for 15 minutes every 2 hours, within the first 48–72 hours after the injury.
- Press or cover the knee with a bandage, to help the knee rest and limit swelling.
- Elevate your legs so they are higher than your chest to limit and reduce swelling in your knees.
- Immediately see a physiotherapist for further treatment.
- Do not take a hot shower or compress the knee with a warm compress or heat pack.
- Don't drink alcohol. Alcohol makes swelling in the knee worse and slows down the healing process.
- Don't run to prevent knee cartilage injury from getting worse.
- Do not massage the injured knee as this will make the swelling worse.
After performing first aid for knee cartilage injury, immediately visit a doctor for further treatment, such as:
- Physiotherapy, namely exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee, and help reduce pain and pressure in the joints
- Giving non-steroidal painkillers (NSAIDs), to help reduce swelling and pain
- Providing motion support devices, such as sticks or leg braces
- Surgery, if the knee cartilage injury is severe and doesn't improve on its own or with previous methods
Knee cartilage surgery is usually performed by inserting a small instrument into the knee joint. In more extensive damage, major surgery on the knee is required to repair the damaged cartilage and surrounding tissue.
If you have a knee cartilage injury that causes severe pain, severe swelling, and difficulty moving, don't hesitate to see a doctor immediately.
The sooner a knee cartilage injury gets medical treatment, the better the healing process and the lower the possible complications.