Arthritis is not only associated with degenerative changes in the cartilage, but also with "over-irritation" of the entire joint. A number of different structures inside the knee are affected. Arthritis can affect the mensical cartilage, resulting in degenerative meniscal tears. The mucosal lining of the knee is also affected by the degenerative process. This results in hyper-irritation, inflammation, and overproduction of joint fluid.
A procedure called debridement may be performed during knee arthroscopy. This involves the removal of damaged parts of the meniscus and of hypertrophied and damaged mucosa while smoothing degenerated parts of the cartilage (cf. Knee Arthroscopy).
The treatment results in a significant reduction of symptoms in most patients.