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Chronic ConditionsInjuries and AccidentsKneesSports Injuries

Cartilage Regeneration Procedures

By 18 July 2012February 20th, 2024No Comments

Localised, isolated cartilage defects and degeneration with thinning of the cartilage are the first steps in the development of generalised osteoarthritis.

Cartilage regeneration is a panacea in orthopaedics. Should this become consistently possible in patients with degenerative joint disease, cartilage regeneration in combination with realignment procedures around the knee joint would effectively obviate the need for joint replacement procedures.

MRI scanning technology is consistently improving and we are now able to diagnose areas of cartilage loss accurately on MRI scan. This is advantageous, in so far as certain cartilage regeneration procedures limited in their indications based on the size of the defect.

 Unfortunately, cartilage regeneration procedures are rarely consistently successful and can only be carried out in areas of no larger than 10 – 15 mm diameter. Various different procedures have been tried; they include simple microfracture of the affected area, osteochondral bone plug insertion and stem cell transfer into the defect. If cartilage does regrow, it has been shown to be of inferior quality to the original hialine cartilage of the weight-bearing joints.

In order for these procedures to work, the affected area of the knee must be unloaded.

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