There are broadly three types of articular cartilage: the hyaline cartilage covering the joint surfaces, the elastic cartilage found in the outer ear and the fibrocartilage found in the knee meniscus and the vertebral disk.
In the knee, it functions alongside the fibrocartilage but are identified as different structures with different functionalities. It can be complex and functionally minimizes friction at the joints and enables weight bearing. It acts as a shock absorber and consists of five layers each with its own biochemical difference.
Problems to the articular cartilage of the knee
Lesions: Injuries caused to the articular cartilage of the knee are called known as lesions. Pot holes or tears occur on the surface of the cartilage.
Full thickness lesions: A full thickness lesion occurs when the tear or injury has gone through the cartilage. These cases usually require surgical intervention.
Grade I – There is a soft spot in the cartilage
Grade II – Minor tears occur on the surface of the cartilage
Grade III – Deep crevices are formed on the lesions
Grade IV – These lesions affect all the layers of the cartilage.