Cartilage Repair Treatment Options

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Cartilage Repair Treatment Options


 

Today’s episode is about Cartilage Repair Treatment Options.
Osteoarthritis is a disease of hyaline cartilage which is the tough gristle that caps the ends of long bones in the joint. Since cartilage has no nerves or blood vessels, the capacity to repair itself is minimal.
There have been a number of procedures that have been performed in order to repair damaged cartilage.
For example, microfracture has been touted as a popular option for localized cartilage defects.
The theory is that by breaking through cartilage and bone by fracturing it, openings are created for mesenchymal stem cells to escape into the knee joint with subsequent repair of cartilage defects. It has been shown that mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow have the ability to differentiate into cartilage and bone.
Autologous cartilage plugs are another option. These are plugs of cartilage and bone that are taken from non-weight-bearing areas of the knee joint such as the intercondylar notch and then “plugged” into cartilage defects.
Autologous chondrocyte implantation is another procedure where cartilage cells are removed from the patient, cultured in a laboratory, and then re-implanted back into the injured knee underneath a thin membrane in the cartilage defect. The patient is not allowed to weight-bear for several months.
These procedures have had mixed reviews since controlled studies are difficult to do and the actual success rate is hard to determine. None of these procedures has been shown to be effective for OA.
One option that does appear to have promise is mesenchymal stem cell therapy along with growth factors and biomatrix administered using a combination of ultrasound and arthroscopic guidance. This appears to be the most promising approach to treatment… the use of stem cells.

 

 
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