Saturday, September 19, 2015

Long Term Effects Of Overuse

When a kid stops growing his growth plates harden at the end of his long bones, a friction-reducing hyaline cartilage develops over the area. In athletes, some of this cartilage will break away eventually, and the bits of cartilage will float in the joint and often be mistaken for bone chips. With continued use, friction will affect the bone where the cartilage used to be. When bone is worn by friction, new bone cells are generated in the form of spikey bone spurs. Eventually, these tiny bone spurs break off from continued use and friction, and these bone spurs will float around the joint along with the initial bits of hyaline cartilage. When a surgeon cleans out a joint, he will clean out both the floating bits of cartilage and floating bits of bone spurs, both of which are called “bone chips” by the media.

Bone chips come from the wearing away of cartilage, which starts the chain of events. It’s from overuse, but not related to poor mechanics. Fortunately, the diagnosis and surgery are very simple. Unfortunately, as a result of this type of surgery, degrees of range of motion will be lost.

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