Cartilage is the soft, almost gel like tissue that sits on the end the bones and joints. This can become damaged in a direct injury or over a period of time. Small splits and tears can occur and a loose flap of cartilage can cause the joint to lock. With more severe damage, the cartilage wears away so that the underlying bone is exposed and the joint has now developed arthritic changes.
Many cartilage injuries can be managed conservatively with an appropriate rehabilitation programme although in some cases, a small operation with keyhole surgery (arthroscopy) is required.
If the underlying structure and function is felt to be contributing to the problem then a 3-D gait analysis to identify the underlying problems, and appropriate rehabilitation programme and sometimes orthoses (shoe inserts) can be of benefit.
Exercise induced leg pain
This simply refers to pain, generally in the lower leg, caused by exercise/activity. Specific conditions include medial tibial stress syndrome, stress fracture and chronic compartment syndrome.