For a very long time, our understanding of the knee joint cartilage was limited. Scientists knew that the knee cartilage doesn't heal well or at all. The lack of a direct blood supply to this area left us with the feeling that nothing could be done.
Today, this is far from the truth. Studies in the 1970s and 1980s opened up new avenues of research for improved treatment of knee osteoarthritis (OA). The mechanical properties of articular cartilage were better defined. For the first time, we saw how the dynamics of friction and fluid affected the cartilage.
At the same time, risk factors for OA were more clearly identified. The influence of age, obesity, joint injury, and mechanical stress was recognized. Weight loss and activity became important elements of knee OA prevention and treatment.
And now, thanks to improved technology, we have ways to surgically repair defects in the cartilage. It's possible to stimulate the cartilage to fill in damaged areas.
When selected carefully and followed up with an appropriate rehab program, many patients like you are remaining active much longer than previous generations of arthritis sufferers. Don't wait to seek medical help. The sooner an accurate diagnosis is made, the sooner the right treatment and prevention measures can be applied.