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Stuart asked...

14 months ago I had my cartilage trimmed on my right knee...

Hi, 14 months ago I had my cartilage trimmed on my right knee as I had a tear in it. I also have no ACL from a previous injury. Although I can no longer play racket sports my knee has been quite good and felt strong due to exercise and cycling. In the last couple of months its started to get sore and three weeks ago I turned and it gave way. It now feels quite unstable and I'm concerned I've damaged the cartilage again. I was wondering what my options would be if I returned to the specialist as I don't really want to have anymore cartilage removed as I won't have any left? Regards Stuart

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The answer

Thank you for contacting us with your question. Given your history there are a few possible reasons why your knee gave way and now is feeling unstable all of which are usually treatable. You mention that you have an ACL from a previous injury and it is possible that the ligament has become compromised further through a tear or worsening of the original injury, classic symptoms of this usually include the knee giving way and a feeling that the knee is unstable due to ligament instability in people who have sustained this type of injury. In terms of the cartilage that was trimmed, it is also possible that this area has an unstable flap of cartilage which would have caused your knee to turn and the ongoing symptoms to then occur or that a portion of loose cartilage is floating within the knee area, this would also give rise to the type of symptoms you are experiencing and is usually removed quite easily and should not normally result in the loss of any unaffected cartilage material.

Although it’s not possible to speculate what your options might be for treatment without a firm diagnosis hopefully this will be something of a guide as to what has possibly happened. Under the circumstances it would seem very sensible to arrange to see your specialist to discuss this further as he will be able to both assess by examining your knee and performing any scans that are needed and diagnose the exact cause of the problem and then be able to discuss what options for treatment are available.

We do hope you will find this information of use, Best of luck in getting this resolved.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses