Arthritis is a condition that causes pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints. Over time, joints affected by arthritis may become severely damaged. Arthritis occurs more frequently in older individuals, however it sometimes develops in athletes from overuse of a joint or after an injury. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to repair tendons or replace damaged joints due to arthritis.

Cartilage Defects of the Knee

Cartilage defects of the knee involve damage to the articular cartilage, the smooth substance that covers the ends of the bones, keeping them from rubbing together. Cartilage defects may be degenerative, resulting from wear and tear, or traumatic, caused by an injury such as falling on the knee, jumping down, or rapidly changing directions while playing a sport. Such injuries do not always produce immediate symptoms because there are no nerves in cartilage. Over time, however, cartilage defects can disrupt normal joint function, leading to pain, inflammation, a grinding sensation in the knee and limited mobility. In most cases, surgery is necessary to provide relief from pain and increase mobility.

Achilles Tendon Rupture

The Achilles tendon is the strong band of tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel. If stretched too far, the tendon can tear, or rupture, causing severe pain in the ankle and lower leg that can make it difficult or even impossible to walk. An Achilles tendon rupture, which may be partial or complete, often occurs as a result of repeated stress on the tendon while playing sports such as soccer or basketball. Although frequently resulting from the same stresses that cause Achilles tendonitis, a rupture of the Achilles tendon is a far more serious injury, usually requiring surgical repair.

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