You are here

Cartilage damages


Reasons for cartilage damages are various:

1. Injuries like contusions, contortions, luxations of the knee

2. Micro injuries due to false position of the leg axis, body weight, chronic

    instabilities in case of existing cruciate ligament injuries or long sedation

3. Systemic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, gout, chronic increase of the

    lipometabolism or bacterial and viral infections

4. Unclear reasons like the osteochondrosis dissecans of an adolescent and

    Morbus Ahlbäck


Since 1963 according to Outerbridge cartilage damages are divided into 4 degrees:

Degree 1: Soft and thus instable cartilage

Degree 2: Tear formations and loss of coating thickness up to 50%

Degree 3: Loss of coating thickness upt to more than 50 %

Degree 4: Complete thickness loss with exposed bony surface


Arthroscopic display of cartilage damages

degree 1
degree 2
degree 3
degree 4


Decisive for the treatment is the clarification of the reasons for the cartilage damage. This way false positions of the axis can often cause rapidly progressive cartilage damages. Besides the MRT an arthroscopic assessment of the cartilage situation becomes necessary as well.