Originally Posted by Raul_SJ
My MRI mentioned meniscus tear, but nothing about articular cartilage. Can an MRI detect articular cartilage problems?
Does knee osteoarthritis typically lead to articular cartilage damage coupled with meniscus damage? Is there a relation between the two in cases of knee osteoarthritis?
MRI's are the best (or one of the best) non-invasive diagnostic tools.
They miss injuries (false negatives) and also have false positives especially since some of the MRI interpretations are of very small signal variations, image shading. My first meniscus injury, that required surgery, was in the central, thin area of the meniscus and did not definitively show on the MRI. A slight shadowing, the result was only 'consistent' with a meniscus tear.
If you want a better idea research that question as I've seen research papers discussing MRI observations. Discuss with the Dr.
I don't know
the typical pathology of osteoarthritis of the knee. My guess is that usually there is some injury or stress to the meniscus or articular cartilages. Issues of posture and overuse, that the body can't handle under the conditions of running, tennis, age, lyme disease,....... etc may be the cause rather than acute injury (or a series of small acute injuries). There is inflammation and the cartilages deteriorate. The inflammation can also affect adjacent tissue and cause pain.
I usually view the meniscus as protecting the articular cartilage. Is that an accurate view of how the cartilages function. ? My injuries have been to the meniscus but I know people who's injuries involve both meniscus and articular. Of my friends, a meniscus injury always caused them to stop tennis and see a Dr. Some found additional significant arthritis.
In 1999 and in 2011 my MRIs also showed arthritis under the knee caps/patellas. In 1999, the Dr said 'you have a little arthritis under the knee cap, about normal for somebody your age'. The 1999 report seemed worse in my opinion. I've been playing a lot of tennis and the knees in that area function OK. I believe that my rectus femorus tends to get tight/short and aggravate that joint, the patellofemoral joint, causing occasional pain. I slack on stretching the rectus femorus when there is no pain but I shouldn't.
My niece is a serious soccer player. She got knee swelling (age 16?). It took several months of considering it an injury before it was diagnosed as Lyme disease. I believe that Lyme disease can cause arthritis.
Do you know tennis players in your area who have had knee injuries and can recommend Drs?
When there are injuries there is always uncertainty.