cartilage repair

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about the procedure


For a knee to function properly, the ends of the bones need a smooth cartilagecartilageThe hard, thin layer of white glossy tissue that covers the end of bone at a joint. This tissue allows motion ... surface. Hyaline cartilagecartilageA usually translucent somewhat elastic tissue that composes most of the skeleton. forms a surface that distributes the compact pressure experienced while running, jumping and during other repetitive movements.

An injury to this cartilage can limit a person’s ability to not only work and play but to perform everyday activities. There are several different procedures surgeons may use to repair damaged cartilage in the knee. These include:

  • Autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI)
Since cartilage is unable to repair itself on its own, advanced FDA-approved technology allows cartilage cells, know as chondrocyteschondrocytesThe cells in cartilage that produce proteoglycans., to be harvested from a patient’s knee and multiplied through culturing. The fresh chondrocytes are then implanted in the patient’s knee and promote the regenerationregenerationThe production of tissue that is structurally and functionally identical to tissue damaged by injury. of hyaline cartilage. ACI typically involves:
The surgeon will examine the patient’s knee with an arthroscopy scope: a tiny, pen-shaped instrument that has a micro video camera attached to the end. If the doctor detects a lesion, a tiny amount of healthy cartilage will be removed for a biopsy.
Cell culturing. For 4-5 weeks, the cartilage sample will be cultured. The cells multiply significantly and will reach numbers in the millions before surgerysurgeryThe branch of medicine concerned with the treatment of disease, injury, and deformity by operation or manipula....
  • Surgery
First, the surgeon will remove the cartilage that has been damaged. Next, skin that lines the inside of most bones (periosteumperiosteumA fibrous membrane that covers the surface of bone except at the end of the bones where it is covered with car...) is sutured to the area where cartilage was removed.
  • Implantation.
The cartilage cells that were cultured earlier are now implanted. After surgery, the cells will continue to multiply and eventually they’ll be incorporated into the surrounding cartilage, thus restoring the hyaline surface.1
other  treatments
Knee arthroscopy – A minimally invasive surgical treatment which can be used to remove cartilage debris from the knee or to repair cartilage tears.
Meniscal repair – When tears to the meniscal cartilage occur, a common form of knee cartilage damage, surgeons use specialized techniques to repair them.
1. Cartilage repair. Accessed on Nov. 30, 2010.
Oct 16 2014 - 12:30:12