Dietary Fats

dietary, fat, oil, fish, avocado, nut, olive

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in nutrition to stay in shape. I read some advice from Arnold Schwarzenegger and I learned some good stuff.

Of the 3 macronutriments, fats are the nutrients that are the most dense in energy. Fat is composed of the same thing as carbohydrates (carbon, hydrogen and oxygen) but the difference is that the atoms are not linked together in the same way. Fat is in plants and animals. Oils are liquid fats. Fats are insoluble in water. Fats are organized in 3 categories:

  • Simple fats (triglycerides)
  • Compound fats (phospholipid, glucolipid, lipoprotein)
  • Derived fats (cholesterol)

Here are the 3 fat’s functions in your body:

  1. Fats are the main source of stored energy (body fat)
  2. Fats help to protect and cushion the major organs
  3. Fats have an insulator effect, preserving body heat and protecting against excessive cold.

Fat is the most dense nutrient in calories 1 pound (453gr) of fat contains 4000 calories while 1 pound (453gr) of protein or carbohydrate contains about 1800 calories.

When you do exercise and stay within your aerobic capacity, it means you don’t run out of breath, your body uses fats and carbohydrates as a source of energy at around 50/50. But if you continue, your body will use more fat than carbohydrates as a source of energy. If you train for 3 hours, your body can use fat to create 80% energy for your body.

As you could read, there is different type of fat: saturated, unsaturated and polyunsaturated. These terms mean the number of hydrogen atoms attached to the molecule. Here is an analogy with a string’s ball so that it’s easier to understand. Saturated fat is like a length of string in a messy clutter. Unsaturated is like a rope with some entanglements. And polyunsaturated is like a rope carefully wrapped without the sign of a tangle. The more fat is saturated (tangled), the more likely it’s to remain in the body and clog the arteries, which increase the risk of heart disease.

There are also other factors. Diets rich in saturated fat tend to increase cholesterol levels in the blood. Health experts advise that 2/3 of your fat intake is polyunsaturated fat.

Saturated fats are found in:

  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Shellfish
  • Egg yolks
  • Cream
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Butter
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Chocolate
  • Lard

Unsaturated fats are found in:

  • Avocados
  • Cashews
  • Olives and olive oil
  • Peanuts, peanuts oil, peanut butter

Polyunsaturated fats are found in:

  • Almonds
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Margarine (usually)
  • Pecans
  • Sunflower oil
  • Corn oil
  • Fish
  • Mayonnaise
  • Safflower oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Walnuts

Essential Fatty Acids

fatty, acid, saturated, unsaturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, omega,3,6,9,linolenic, linoleic, cla, gla, arachidonic, epa, dha, oleic, lauric, myristic,palmitic, stearic

Essential fatty acids are inevitable in a healthy diet because your body can’t create it itself- That’s why it’s essential that you eat foods containing essential fatty acids. It’s a shame because many bodybuilders have low fat diets and they develop deficiencies in dietary fat. Fortunately there are foods and supplements that provide “good fats” to avoid this extreme. Here are some examples:

Fish oil

Instead of eating low-fat fish, test salmon, trout or mackerel. Fish oil is needed by organs, especially the brain. You can also take fish oils as supplements.

Polyunsaturated vegetable oil

In vegetable oils, there are 2 acids that are valuable: linoleic acid and linolenic acid. Supermarket oils such as corn oil, sunflower oil and safflower oil don’t contain linoleic acid. Soybean oil is the only supermarket oil containing linoleic acid but you need ot pay attention to GMO. For linolenic acid, you can find that in linseed oil, walnut oil, pumpkin seed oil.

Monounsaturated fatty acids

There are the most harmless fatty acids compared to some polyunsaturated fatty acids because they don’t affect your cholesterol or your prostaglandins (regulators of the hormones action). Monounsaturated fatty acids are found in olive oil and macadamia nuts.

Supplements of fatty acid

These supplements contain essential fatty acids from fish oils and other sources.

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-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here .

Carbohydrate

carbohydrate, bread, rice, pasta, potato

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in nutrition to stay in shape. I read some advice from Arnold Schwarzenegger and I learned some good stuff.

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy in the body. All carbohydrates are sugars that are molecules containing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Glucose is synthesis by plants through the photosynthesis process (using the sun’s energy) or by animals during the glycogen synthesis process. But be careful when I talk about glucose (sugar), I’m not talking about table sugar. There are several categories of glucoses (sugars). Here they are:

Monosaccharides

  • Glucose (blood sugar)
  • Fructose (fruit sugar)
  • Galactose (a kind of milk sugar)

Oligosaccharides

  • Sucrose(table sugar)
  • Lactose(milk sugar)
  • Maltose (malt sugar)

Polysaccharides

  • Plant polysaccharides(starch and cellulose)
  • Animal polysaccharides (glycogen)

The speed of which carbohydrate metabolized are measured with the glycemic index. A high glycemic index (a large increase in serum glucose) indicate that carbohydrates metabolized rapidly. A low glycemic index (a small increase in serum glucose) indicates that carbohydrates metabolized slowly or differently.

What’s cool now I being able to check the gylcemic index of foods on internet. For example, Chinese restaurant rice has a very high glycemic index compared to brown rice or wild rice.

carbohydrate, bread, rice, pasta, potato

Carbohydrates are the easiest type of food to turn into energy for the body. When carbohydrates converted to glucose, glucose circulates in the blood and helps muscle contraction. Glycogen in the muscle and liver stored for future use. A supply of carbohydrates is necessary for an ambitious bodybuilder for several reasons:

  1. Carbohydrates are a basic type of energy. Carbohydrate stored in the muscles in the form of glycogen will allow to train intense and heavy.
  2. Size of muscles increases when the body stores glycogen and water in individual muscle cells.
  3. Carbohydrates in the body have an effect that prevents the body from burning excess protein to create energy.
  4. Glucose is the main source of energy for the brain to be operational. Carbohydrate deprivation can have very negative effects on mood, personality and mental abilities.

There is a reason why carbohydrates are really needed as fuel for a workout. This is because most exercises are anaerobics exercises. Anaerobics exercises are flushed through intense puffs and exceed the body’s ability to provide enough oxygen to sustain the effort. But the carbohydrates structure allows to continue feeding the muscles during an exercise for a short period without oxygen. Therefore, when you do intensive weight training or you run a 100 meter sprint, your energy for these efforts is mainly composed of carbohydrates.

Carbohydrate supplement

carbohydrate, supplement, powder

Intense training creates a demand in the body to replace glycogen and amino acids. Be careful that your body contains enough carbohydrates after training, otherwise your body may start using amino acids (protein) as a source of energy. The period during which the body is in very high demand for carbohydrates is shorter than for proteins. The best results are obtained when you give the necessary carbohydrates to your body about 20 minutes after your training.

This need for immediate replacement of glycogen is the reason why many bodybuilders use a carbohydrate supplement after training with a protein supplement. It’s very useful when you do a strength training with a cardiovascular session (treadmill, stepper or bike). If you do cardio too soon after your strength training, you’ll be depriving your body of carbohydrates. And as you lack energy, your body will quickly use your amino acids (protein) to create the energy that is missing.

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-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here .

Steroids

sport injury steroids performance enhancing drug

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

We regularly read in news articles, the use of anabolic steroids or performance enhancing drugs by elite athlete. But you should know that these dangerous drugs are more and more used by children in college, high-school and middle school.

What

sport injury steroids performance enhancing drug

Anabolic steroids are synthetic derivatives of testosterone. Testosterone is a male sex hormone. Steroids help to create new proteins to increase the size and strength of muscles. The body is already doing this process naturally but steroids increase the activity of this normal process. Find performance enhancing drugs in communities, gyms or internet is easy.

Steroids are consumed orally or by injection. Anabolic steroids in themselves aren’t effective. However, when they’re used at the same time with a strength training, they increase the strength in an impressive way.

Side effects

sport injury steroids performance enhancing drug side effect acne

sport injury steroids performance enhancing drug side effect acne

sport injury steroids performance enhancing drug side effect acne

Performance enhancing drugs allow an athlete to have bigger and more powerful muscles, but users may have deadly health problems. Performance enhancing drugs have several side effects that continue to work even after you stop using them. Users are also more likely to have risky behaviors such as having unsafe sex or taking illegal drugs.

Symptoms of use of anabolic steroids are :

  • Acne (often severe) visible on the face and back

  • Severe mood change such as extreme aggression or suicidal behavior

  • Premature balding, breast enlargement (gynecomastia), irreversible shrinking of testicles in boys.

  • Deeper voice, shrinking breast and clitoral enlargement in girls

  • Dangerous enlargement of the heart that can increase bad cholesterol and blood pressure.

  • Irreversible liver damage

  • In children, premature closure of the growth plates, stopping normal growth of bones.

sport injury steroids performance enhancing drug side effect gynecomastia

sport injury steroids performance enhancing drug side effect gynecomastia

sport injury steroids performance enhancing drug side effect gynecomastia

A reason to take anabolic steroids

Anabolic steroids may be advisable for people who have lost testicular function like men with a testicular tumor. They’re also advised in some type of anemia to stimulate the bone morrow.

Prevent

The true is the problems of performance enhancing drugs aren’t solely related to elite athletes. Children are also exposed to this every day. Ask kids what they know about these drugs. Ask them if they know anyone in their school class who uses these drugs. Ask them if they know the dangers of these drugs. If you think that your children or children in your family might be experiencing these drugs, talk to your doctor.

It’s also important to talk to coaches and ask them if leagues or schools require annual physical exams for athletes. A physical examination by a doctor can detect the use of performance enhancing drugs in athletes (doping test). Ask coaches if any of their athletes have experienced performance enhancing drugs.

Stats

As many as four 4 American children and teens are using performance enhancing drugs such as anabolic steroids.

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-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here .

Manage Your Carbohydrate

carbohydrate source food

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE !!! I watched a Jamcore DZ’s video  and I learned some good stuff.

If you want to learn how to manage your protein, click here and for amino acids, click here.

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the body. It’s true that we can have energy with proteins and lipids but they provide less quantity of energy.

To put it simply, when you eat carbohyrates, they turn into glucose and then into glycogen. To better understand, I’ll take the example of a gasoline tank. Imagine that the tank is a muscle and that the gasoline is glycogen. Gasoline in the tank helps move the car and glycogen in the muscle helps move your body.

This glycogen is shared in many places in your body : 80% in your muscles, 14% in your liver and 6% in your blood.

Carbohydrate type

 

Most people know 2 types of carbohydrates, slow carbohydrates and simple carbohydrates. There is a 3rd type, it’s fibrous carbohydrate and unfortunately many people neglect them.

Slow carbohydrates :

  • Whole wheat bread / white bread (refined carbohydrate)

  • Whole wheat rice / white rice (refined carbohydrate)

  • Oatmeal

  • Cereals (muelsi is excellent because there are often lipids and carbohydrates that are added like nuts, raisins, etc. ).

  • Sweet potato / potato

  • Whole wheat pasta / white pasta (refined carbohydrate)

  • Kinoa

  • Couscous

Simple carbohydrates :

  • Fruit (fructose)

  • Honey

  • Dextrose

  • Maltodextrin

  • Lactose (it’s sugar in the milk)

  • Cluster dextrin (it’s perfect during your training session because it has a low glycemic index).

Fibrous carbohydrates (vitamin, fiber et minerals) :

  • Vegetables (aspargus, carrot, cauliflower, salad, etc)

Carbohydrate, insulin and insulin spike

insulin spike blood sugar

There is a special relationship between carbohydrates and insulin. When you eat carbohydrates, they turn into glucose, which is a type of sugar, and then glucose is turned into glycogen. Glucose is managed by insulin. Insulin is a hormone created by the pancreas. The insulin’s role is to manage the sugar’s level in the blood. This avoids having too much sugar in the blood (hyperglycemia) or not enough sugar in the blood (hypoglycemia).

The problem is that the majority of people eat any type of carbohydrate anyway and they may quickly get a lot of fat. It’s important to understand that each carbohydrate has a different gylcemic index and this glycemic index will cause different insulin spikes.

Glycemic index

A glycemic index indicates how quickly carbohydrates become glucose in the blood. It’s for this reason that it’s recommended to eat carbohydrate with a low glycemic index rather than those with a high glycemic index.

Carbohydrates with low glycemic index  :

  • Sweet potato

  • Oatmeal

  • Kinoa

  • Sugar free fruit juice

  • Whole wheat rice

  • Whole wheat bread

  • Whole wheat pasta

  • Fruits (apple, orange, cherry, pear, apricot)

  • Cluster dextrin (for your training session)

 

Carbohydrate with high glycemic index :

  • Potato

  • Couscous

  • Table sugar

  • White rice

  • White bread

  • White pasta

  • Cereal (Kellog, Nestle, etc.)

  • Dextrose

  • Sweet drink (soda)

  • Fruit (melon, watermelon)

Here is an exemple of low glycemic index carbohydrates to eat. For high glycemic carbohydrates, it’s recommended to eat them in moderation because if you eat them in large quantities, after several years, you have the risk to becoming diabetic or having other health problems.

Consumption

Always take into consideration your bodyweight and your training’s intensity. There 2 bad situations :

  1. Have a not very intense training and eat too much carbohydrates, which results in having too much fat in the body.

  2. Have intense training and eat a little carbohydrate, which results in being weak.

Take for example :

  • A man who weighs 85kg and is a beginner. In this case, it’s recommended to start with 3.5gr per kilo of bodyweight so 3.5 x 85 = 297.5gr of carbohydrates to eat a day.

  • A man who weighs 85kg and who is advanced or pro. In this case, it’s 5gr per kilo of bodyweight so 5 x 85 = 425gr of carbohydrates to eat a day. As an advanced person, the training sessions are really intense, that’s why you need this amount of energy.

  • A man who weighs 85kg and who wants to be shredded. Let things be clear, it’s being shredded and not losing weight. In this case is between 1.2 ans 2.5gr per kilo of bodyweight so it’s between 102 and 212.5gr of carbohydrates to eat per day.

The carbohydrates amount to eat is to be divided into 4-5 meals a day for ease of digestion. Each meal is balanced in carbohydrates, proteins and lipids.

To be shredded

shredded lean lose weight vs versus

Let things be clear, be shredded isn’t a weight loss. In this situation, leptin must be taken into consideration. Leptin is a hormone that regulates your appetite. When you start to lower your glucides, leptin will aslo decrease and you’ll be hungry. These feelings of hunger are created because of ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hormone called « hormone hunger » because it stimulates the appetite. Ghrelin also affects your insulin and testosterone.

This means that people who too quicly decrease their carbohydrates will fail because the lack of energy will be too brutal. The feeing of hunger will be too intense because the body has not had time to get used to the new diet. This is where nutrition is out of control.

Never reduce carbohydrate to 0. The people who do that, make a diet ketogenic and you have to master this type of diet. The professional bodybuilder is doing this diet for 4 weeks, but they can do that because of chemical aid (steroids) and they have a dietician. The problem is that those who aren’t professional athletes and who are on a ketogenic diet do that because someone told them it was good. That’s why in the gyms there are people who lose consciousness because they don’t have enough energy. You need 50 to 130 grams of carbohydrates, just for your brain, it’s not a simple diet to lose weight.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here.

MRSA Infections

mrsa infection anatomy

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (S. Aureaus), or MRSA, is a bacterium that creates skin infections and other types of infections. The first time that MRSA was seen in US hospitals during the 1970s. Recently, there is a new strain of MRSA know as Community Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or CA-MRSA, has left hospitals and began to spread in the community.

This is the strain that is prevalent among athletes. The difference between CA-MRSA and Healthcare-Associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) is in their effects. CA-MRSA usually creates skin infections while HA-MRSA causes bloodstream, urinary tract and surgical site infections. This make CA-MRSA less dangerous than HA-MRSA. Another difference is that CA-MRSA is more vulnerable to antimicrobial.

Symptoms

Signs of infections are :

  • Redness

  • Warmth, Swelling

  • Pus

  • Pain at sites where there are skin wounds

  • Abrasions or cuts

MRSA has the ability to spread to other organs in the body and when that happens, symptoms are more severe.

At this stage, symptoms are :

  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Low blood pressure

  • Joint pain

  • Severe headaches

  • Shortness of breath

  • An extensive rash over the body

These more advanced systemic symptoms require immediate medical attention.

Treatment

The 1st choice for treating MRSA skin infection is to use an antibiotic that has been created to kill bacteria with mild side effects. Most early infections with no widespread symptoms can be treated with oral antibiotics. Because of the nature of this decease and antibiotic options, many patients think they’re « cured » after only a few doses and decide by themselves to stop taking the prescribed drugs. However, MRSA is able to re-infect the patient and become resistant to antibiotics used previously.

For moderate to severe infections, treatment may be with intravenous antibiotics.

These infections associated with deep abscesses or boils require open surgical drainage in addition to antibiotic therapy. Most infections resolve in 7-10 days with an adequate treatment despite the fact that a deep abscess can take up to 4 weeks to eradicate the infection by resolving the abscess cavity.

Early identification and treatment of MRSA infections decrease the amount of playing time lost and decrease the chance that the infection will become severe. Skin may be protected by protective clothing or gear designed to prevent skin abrasions or cuts.

Prevention

mrsa infection anatomy

It’s necessary that athletes have good personal hygiene but it must be added that athletes and visitors to athletes facilities must also keep their hands clean by washing them often with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand rub. The minimum is to have clean hands before and after sports and activities. For example when we use weight training equipment that is shared by all gym members, it’s important to have clean hands after using toilette or when someone is injured taking care the wounds (including changing bandage).

Ordinary and antimicrobial soaps are effective for washing hands. It’s noted that liquid soap is a better option because it’s not possible to share this type of soap compared to bar soap. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contain at least 60% alcohol are the perfect choice.

Athletes should shower immediately after exercise and shouldn’t share soap and towels. Washing all uniforms and clothes after each use is important. Athlete should avoid sharing items that are in contact with the skin and avoid sharing personal items as they contact the skin. Fortunately, most surfaces don’t provoke a risk of spreading staph and MRSA.

Athletes who have had MRSA

Several high school, college and professional athletes have contracted MRSA infections. There have already been epidemics among athletes on the same team. A study published in « The New England Journal of Medicine » shows an infection MRSA among St. Louis Rams professional football franchise (USA) athletes. During a single season, MRSA infections were found among 5 of 58 Rams athletes (9 percents) that was tested. All infections developed on areas of the body that are common places for turf injury.

Stats

  • Today, MRSA accounts for about 50-70% of the S. Aureus infections that are present in healthcare facilities across the world.

  • Statistics fro the Kaiser foundation in 2007 indicated that approximately 1.2 million hospitalized patients contract MRSA infections.

  • Serious MRSA infection is still predominantly related to exposure in the healthcare setting, where approximately 85 percent of all serious MRSA infections occur.

  • Fortunately, in children under 18 years old, mortality rates are much lower (1%), even though the number of hospitalized children with MRSA has almost tripled since 2002.

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-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here .

Mature Athlete

mature athlete

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

Physical exercises are for everyone, including the mature population. Exercises allow older people to keep a healthy body and maintain their independence. The main health problems of the mature population are arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, depression and hearing and sight loss. With the exception of hearing and sight loss, all these health problems can be serious decrease with an adequate workout program.

All mature athletes should have a complete medical and musculoskeletal assessment before starting any workout program. Having a complete medical examination, medical advice and a workout program helps to avoid serious injuries and health accidents. These 3 things should meet the needs of a mature athlete to avoid disease, increase endurance, strength, body image and competitiveness.

Exercises are beneficial

It’s important that a qualified personal trainer create a specific workout program to improve strength, endurance, balance and flexibility. If the workout program includes sports such as golf or tennis, the technical knowledge of the golf/tennis instructors is helpful to avoid injury and improve performance. For results, workout programs must be consistent for at least 30-45 minutes, 3-4 days a week.

If physical conditions require correction, a cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation program or physical therapy may be helpful before starting a workout program. These rehab programs should be taught to mature athletes at a fitness level where they could continue with their own workout program.

Exercise type for the workout program

physical exercise type

An athlete should use types of exercises based on his/her desire, pre-existing conditions and his/her ability to exercise without pain. For an athlete with lower extremity joint problems such as arthritis or instability, it’s recommended to avoid exercises with repetitive impacts like running. For athletes with an unstable shoulder, it’s recommended to avoid overhead exercises such as military press and pull-ups.

Using several types of exercise to improve strength, can allow better recovery of muscle and tendon tissue. If a mature athlete wants to make a sport that can aggravate a pre-existing problem on a muscle, tendon or bone, that athlete should be in a good condition before doing this sport. It’s recommended to decrease this sport’s frequency to reduce the painful symptoms.

What equipment to use

Having shoes that fit with the exercise and/or the sport is beneficial. If the person has a foot with significant deformity such as flat feet (fallen arches), using orthopedic shoes helps to reduce stress on the entire lower extremity. The symptoms of arthritis in the knee may be decrease by the use of specialized braces.

Prevent injury or discomfort during exercise

If there is discomfort during or after physical exercise, this should be analyzed to prevent it from starting again or getting worse. Over-the-counter painkillers and anti-inflammatory can be used in the short term if there is no interference with other medical conditions. It’s important to know that the use of ice, heat, massage and flexibility programs can decrease several symptoms caused by exercise.

There is more aggressive treatment with narcotic analgesic and/or cortisone injections but this should only be used to treat a specific lesion. This shouldn’t be used to allow an athlete to complete in the short term.

Summary

Creating a customized workout program with a medical professional and/or a qualified personal trainer helps a mature athlete to :

  • Keep independence

  • Increase physical abilities

  • Prevent injuries

  • Improve the quality of life

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-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food. Click here.

Articular Cartilage Injuries

articular cartilage injury

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interessted in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

Definition

Articular cartilage is difficult to understand because there are 3 types of cartilages in the body : articular of hyaline cartilage (covers joint surfaces), fibrocartilage (knee meniscus, vertebral disk) and elastic cartilage (outer ear). These cartilage’s types differ in their structure, elasticity and strength.

Articular cartilage is a complex element, it’s a living tissue that is on the joint’s surface. The function is to provide a low friction surface to allow the joint to withstand weight loads through the range of motion needed to perform activity of daily living. To put it simply, articular cartilage is a very thin shock absorber. It’s built in 5 distinct layers and each layer has a structural and biochemical difference.

Injury

articular cartilage injury

Articular cartilage injury may be due to trauma or progressive degeneration (wear and tear). This can be mechanical destruction, a direct blow or other trauma. The healing of articular cartilage cells depends on the severity of the damage and the location of the lesion. Articular cartilage has no direct blood supply so it has very little ability to repair itself. It the lesion penetrates the bone under the cartilage, the bone provides blood in the area which improves the chances of healing.

Mechanical degeneration (wear and tear) of articular cartilage occurs with progressive loss of normal cartilage structure and function. This loss begins with the softening of the cartilage, then progresses to fragmentation. As the loss of articular cartilage lining continue, the underlying bone no longer has any protections against normal wear and tear of daily life and begins to get damaged leading to osteoarthritis.

In many cases, a patient experiences knee swelling and vague pain. At this stage, continuous physical activity isn’t possible. If a loose body is present, words such as « locking » or « catching » might be used to explain the problem. With wear and tear , the patient often experiences stiffness, decreased range of motion, joint pain and/or swelling.

Diagnostic

The physician examines the knee to look for a decrease in range of motion, pain along the joint line, swelling, fluid on the knee, abnormal alignment of the joint’s bones, and ligament or meniscal injury.

Cartilage lesions are difficult to diagnose and it’s possible that the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or arthroscopy may be necessary. Plain X- rays don’t usually diagnose articular cartilage problems but they used to rule out other abnormalities.

Treatment

articular cartilage injury treatment

 

Articular cartilage injury that doesn’t penetrate the bone doesn’t repair itself. A lesion that penetrates the bone can heal but the type of cartilage created is structurally unorganized and doesn’t work as well as the original cartilage.

Lesion less than 2 cm have the best prognosis and the best treatment options. These options are arthroscopic surgery using techniques to remove damaged cartilage and increase blood flow from the underlying bone (drilling, pick procedure or microfracture ).

For smaller lesion of articular cartilage surgery is not required.

For larger lesion, it’s necessary to transplant the articular cartilage from another area of the body. Talk to your doctor or specialist to have more information about the decision to have a surgical operation.

For patients with osteoarthritis, non-surgical treatment consists of physical therapy, lifestyle modification (for example reducing activity), bracing, supportive devices, oral and injection drugs (like non-steroidal inflammatory drugs, cartilage protective drugs) and medical management.

Surgical options depend on the severity of osteoarthritis and may provide a reduction in symptoms that are usually short-lived. Total osteoarthritis may relieve the symptom of advanced osteoarthritis but this usually requires a change in the lifestyle and/or level of activity of the patient.

Statistics

Based on published studies, the overall prevalence of articular cartilage injury in the knee is 36% among all athlete and 59% among asymptomatic basketball players and runners.

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-Steph