Cartilage Surgery

Cartilage Surgery

26 Mar, 2020

About Knee Cartilage

Our Knee has two types of Cartilages inside the joint which are firm and flexible connective tissues (white in colour) that cover the ends of the bones. One of the first types is Articular Cartilage that provides a soft layer of the joint and covers the bone ends; thigh bone, back of knee cap and top of the shine bone. Another is Meniscus, which is known as a ‘shock absorber’ as well, and located in between the bones that allows the movement of bone-joint without any painful contact.

What Causes Knee Cartilage Injury?

The formation of Knee Cartilage is tough and it can be deformed or damaged for numerous reasons. Make sure about the symptoms’ you find, like extensive pain while walking or that affects your mobility- it can be the case where knee cartilage is injured.

There are several reasons behind knee cartilage injuries including traumatic injuries (in the case of sportspeople or athletes), chronic overuse or lack of movement, osteoarthritis, obesity that increases the risk of damage to the cartilage.

Diagnoses of the Knee Cartilage Injury

Sometimes it’s challenging to differentiate about the knee injuries, especially in this case because the pain is similar in between a mere sprain, ligament damage or cartilage damage. But these days with modern non-invasive examinations it is easier to find the problem.

After regular test, patient is advised to go for either MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) or Arthroscopy (which is a better alternative to determine the level of cartilage damage)

Advancement in Treatment – Types of Knee Cartilage Surgeries

Depending upon the nature of the injury or other factors like age or activity level of the patient, the patient will be recommended the best method of the surgery that is required.

Surgical options include -

Knee Cartilage Repair -

In this process, orthopedic use surgical tools that work to remove tattered pieces of cartilage and preserve remaining smooth cartilage surface then clean the parts of joint with lavage. It is one of the simplest ways to contour cartilage and reduce joint friction which leads to relaxation in knee pain, restore knee function and slow down the further cartilage degeneration.

The process is generally known as knee “Chondro-plasty”, and is often performed in conjunction with debridement.

Knee Cartilage Regeneration -

Procedure of regeneration requires the proper flow of blood as the ability of cartilage’s tissue to repair itself is lower, due to limited availability of blood vessels. Your Surgeon needs to perform small cuts or abrasions in the bone underneath the cartilage that leads to new cartilage cell growth from the blood of damaged bone.

There are three common techniques of knee cartilage regeneration process used to treat the injury that includes; Knee microfracture, Knee drilling and Knee abrasion therapy.

Knee Cartilage Replacement -

Knee Cartilage replacement is mostly opted for the patients suffering from arthritis, these surgeries are often known as OAT’s surgeries (osteochondral autograft transplantation or osteochondral allograft transplantation surgeries). Another process is also present which is known as autologous chondrocyte implantation. Replacement is mostly done in the case where cartilage is completely damaged or worn-out.

Aftercare- Steps to follow for fast recovery!

According to doctors, a patient's recovery is observed after 6 to 8 weeks of the surgery though for the full recovery it takes time up to 3-6 months depending upon the age and severity.

  • Focus on maintaining knee elevation while sitting.
  • To reduce swelling and pain, use an ice pack regularly.
  • Rest as much as possible
  • Take care of your dressings and change it as instructed.
  • Follow the exercises recommended by the physical therapist.
  • Walk only with crutches and apply weight as instructed by doctors.
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