Methods are disclosed for assessing the condition of a cartilage in a joint and assessing cartilage loss, particularly in a human knee. The methods include converting an image such as an MRI to a three dimensional map of the cartilage. The cartilage map can be correlated to a movement pattern of the joint to assess the affect of movement on cartilage wear. Changes in the thickness of cartilage over time can be determined so that therapies can be provided. The amount of cartilage tissue that has been lost, for example as a result of arthritis, can be estimated.