Does It Feel Like Something's Floating in Your Knee Joint? It Could Be Articular Cartilage

If you feel something strange in your knee joint — like something's floating in there — it may be articular cartilage. Everyone has cartilage in their knees, but there could be an injury that requires medical attention. Dr. Steven E. Nolan repairs articular cartilage problems for patients in Sugar Land, Texas, and the surrounding areas. As an experienced and trusted orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist, he also provides top-notch care to patients with other orthopedic concerns.

What is articular cartilage?

Articular cartilage is rubbery cartilage found on the end of bones. It helps joints, like your knees, move smoothly so you have a good range of motion. It also helps absorb the shocks of everyday wear and tear and from playing sports. This cartilage is a different kind than found on your ears. 

How does articular cartilage get injured? 

Sports injuries are the main cause of an articular cartilage injury. But, everyday activities and carrying extra weight on your body could also lead to issues over time. When the articular cartilage gets injured, you may feel pain right away, or it will come on gradually over time. When you feel knee pain, it’s important to use the RICE method — rest, ice, compression, and elevation — while you schedule an appointment with Dr. Nolan. 


These injuries can get worse over time without medical attention. For example, your knee could swell and you could have intense pain that makes it hard to walk. Because cartilage has no direct blood supply, these types of injuries take longer to heal. And sometimes, surgery is the best option. Dr. Nolan uses a variety of surgical techniques, including knee arthroscopy which is much less invasive than traditional surgery. It all depends on the extent of your injury. Physical rehabilitation will be a part of your care plan to help you heal and get back to normal as soon as possible.

Why does it feel like it's floating?

You may feel something floating in your knee joint because loose pieces of cartilage could be in there. You may also hear strange clicking sounds coming from your knee.

The only way to know for sure if you have an articular cartilage injury in your knee is to book a consultation with Dr. Nolan. He does a physical exam that includes visual inspection of your knee, an assessment of your pain level, and an evaluation of your range of motion. He also orders diagnostic tests if necessary. Take action today to avoid mobility issues in the future by requesting an appointment online or calling 281-720-6910.

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