Cartilage is a tough, flexible tissue found throughout the body. It serves as a shock absorber and a mould, covering the surface of joints, enabling bones to slide over one another while reducing friction and preventing damage. It helps to support your weight when you move, bend, stretch and run.
Unlike other types of tissue, cartilage does not have its own blood supply, so it does not heal as quickly as damaged skin or muscles.
Knees have articular cartilage, which is springy and tough but can be damaged. Causes can be injury, osteoarthritis, infection or complications arising for example from being overweight or having your meniscus removed. Cartilage injury can result in pain, swelling and some loss of mobility.
Injured cartilage typically does not heal on its own, but there several surgical techniques that can repair, regenerate, and replace cartilage, ranging from keyhole procedures through to total knee replacement.