Cartilage Imaging Techniques
Improvements in imaging technology have much improved the ability to detect injuries to articular cartilage before plain radiographic changes occur. Imaging techniques have been decided into morphology (ability to detect cartilage defects) and physiology (ability to detect early loss of Gag and collagen)

Many standard spin echo sequences perform well for morphological assessment, specialised sequences include fat suppression, water excitation and depolarisation improve visualisation of the cartilage fluid interface. Collagen damage can be assessed using T2 mapping and early gag loss by T1 mapping following IV ionic gadolinium injection (dGEMRIC).

Cartilage lesions may be Degenerative or traumatic. A terminology for traumatic lesions is shown in the opposite figure. The imaging goals include detection of a biomarker for OA, a very important disease socioeconomically and to detect surgically remediable lesions before joint replacement is necessary. Cartilage surgical technique are still relatively new and longer term outcome studies are awaited. Post operative cartilage assessment is complex. The Mocart score can be used.
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