Because injured or damaged cartilage usually does not heal on its own, surgeons have developed several techniques to repair and regenerate it.
These surgical procedures are generally more beneficial for people who have specific cartilage injuries rather than widespread cartilage damage, such as that occurring in moderate to severe knee arthritis.
Nevertheless, regardless of the knee cartilage problem you have, it is best to contact a reputable orthopedic surgeon, as they are the only medical professionals who can advise you on which procedure is right for you and will solve or at least reduce your discomfort and pain.
For knee cartilage repair, the surgeon will use special tools to remove frayed and tattered cartilage and smooth the remaining cartilage surface. This contouring of cartilage reduces joint friction, which can:
The cartilage that coats the bones is known as articular cartilage. In nearly all cases, the orthopedic surgeon will perform cartilage repair arthroscopically, using a tiny camera to see the inside of the knee on a monitor and carry out the repair.
A good alternative for some patients to knee cartilage repair is cartilage re-growth, also known as cartilage regeneration. Because it cannot bleed, which is necessary for healing, the ability of cartilage tissue to repair itself is very limited. However, a surgeon can encourage new cartilage growth by making tiny cuts or abrasions in the bone underneath the injured cartilage. This way, the blood from the damaged bone will facilitate new cartilage cell growth. Still, this may not happen in some cases.
The patient may not be able to weight bear until 4 weeks after the surgery, although they should be able to drive after the second week. During the first week, the rehabilitation will focus on increasing the range of motion through manual manipulation and gentle exercises. Subsequently, the patient will engage in physiotherapy, which will work on improving strength and mobility. Most people can return to physical activity after 6 weeks, but it can take 3 to 6 months before they can fully recover.