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Just what is happening?
  • Osteoarthritis is the loss of the lining where two bones meet, to form a “joint.” This lining is called Hylan cartilage, and is different than the cartilage that forms your nose, ears, or the meniscus (gaskets inside the knee that cushion and help with tracking). Some characteristics of this cartilage include:

    • It’s slick! The coefficient of friction is slicker than skates on ice

    • It does not contain nerves. We don’t feel it getting pinched all day walking around.

    • It is radiolucent. We can’t “see” cartilage on x-ray, rather we see an empty spot where it should be.


  • When this wears away, from time or injury, it exposes the bone underneath that is filled with pain-sensing nerves and responds by growing osteophytes, or “Bone spurs.”  Often patients feel popping and grinding.

  • The inflammation results in pain and swelling around the affected joint.


    • Be aware of anyone making claims about treatments to restore cartilage. Sometimes this is possible with a traumatic defect, or "pothole," area of loss, however we cannot regrowlayers of this smooth cartilage. Not even Stem Cells!!!

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