Pikes Peak Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine

2925 Professional Place STE 110, Colorado Springs, 80904   |  P. 719-445-0344   |  F. 719-445-0357   |   Email Us

 

P. 719-445-0344     |    Email Us

Cartilage Restoration

Cartilage restoration is a surgical procedure where an orthopedic surgeon stimulates the growth of new cartilage that restores normal function. An arthritic condition can be delayed or prevented through this procedure.

Several techniques are employed for cartilage restoration including dietary supplements, microfracture, drilling, abrasion arthroplasty, osteochondral autograft and allograft transplantation.

Dietary supplements

Dietary supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin are the non-surgical treatment options for cartilage restoration. Chrondroitin sulphate and glucosamine are naturally occurring substances in the body that prevent degradation of cartilage and promote formation of new cartilage. Chrondroitin sulphate and glucosamine obtained from animal sources are available as over-the-counter products and are recommended for cartilage restoration. Apart from these, various other nutritional supplements are also recommended, such as calcium with magnesium and vitamin D, as well as, S-adenosyl-methionine and methylsulfonylmethane.

Microfracture

In this method, numerous holes are created in the injured joint surface using a sharp tool. This procedure stimulates healing response by creating new blood supply. Blood supply results in growth of new cartilage.

Drilling

In this method, a drilling instrument is used to create holes in the injured joint surface. Drilling holes creates blood supply and stimulates growth of new cartilage. Although the method is like microfracture, it is less precise, and the heat produced during drilling may damage other tissues.

Abrasion Arthroplasty

A high-speed, metal-like object is used to remove the damaged cartilage. This procedure is performed using an arthroscope.

Osteochondral Autograft Transplantation

Healthy cartilage tissue (graft) is taken from the bone that bears less weight and is transferred to the injured joint. This method is used for smaller cartilage defects.

Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation

In this method, a piece of healthy cartilage from another site is removed using an arthroscopic technique and is cultured in a laboratory. Cultured cells form a larger patch which is then implanted in the damaged part by open surgery.

Osteoarticular transfer system (OATS)

Osteoarticular transfer system (OATS) is a surgical procedure to treat isolated cartilage defects which are usually 10 to 20 mm in size. The procedure involves transfer of cartilage plugs taken from the non-weight bearing areas of the joint and transferred into the damaged areas of the joint.

This procedure is not indicated for widespread damage of cartilage as seen in osteoarthritis. The procedure is usually performed using arthroscopy. During the procedure, the plugs taken are usually larger and therefore only one or two plugs are needed to fill the area of cartilage damage. The area of damaged cartilage is prepared using a coring tool which makes a perfectly round hole in the bone in damage. The hole is drilled to a size that fits the plug. Next the plug of normal cartilage is harvested from a non-weight bearing area of the knee, is then implanted into the hole that was created in the damaged area. The size of the plug used should be slightly larger than the hole so that it fits into the position. This procedure allows the newly implanted bone and cartilage to grow in the defected area.