There are 2 main types of cartilage: articular cartilage which is the shiny, smooth white coating in all joints and meniscal cartilage, which is the rubbery cushion in between a joint. Articular cartilage is a very slippery substance that allows our joints to move smoothly and cushions and protects the ends of our bones. Unfortunately, we cannot re-grow this kind of cartilage, so injuries to it are particularly damaging. Loss of articular cartilage leads to arthritis in that joint.
Meniscus cartilage is a cushion in between a joint. Most of the time when we mention meniscus, we are talking about the knee. Meniscus cartilage tears very frequently and can be treated in a variety of ways.
Physical therapy, injections, and sometimes surgery are helpful treatments for this common injury.