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Cartilage Defects

Cartilages are thick strong bands of tissues that hold the joint bones in position and provide flexibility and stability to the joints and adjacent structures. A cartilage tear is different from a cartilage defects. A cartilage tear occurs due to overstretching of the joint causing damage to the cartilage bands. This damage can be repaired through minimally invasive techniques. A cartilage defects occurs when a hole or defect is formed in the cartilage affecting the mobility of the affected joint. At Venkateswara Hospital, we provide minimally invasive surgical methods to recover from any mild or severe cartilage defects with faster recovery and restore the mobility of the affected joint.

cartilage defect

Causes of cartilage defects in the knee

The main cause of cartilage defects in the knee occurs in many ways during any strenuous physical or sports activity. Many injuries can cause a piece of cartilage to literally shave off the end of the bone in the knee joint. Other causes include bone degeneration caused by osteoarthritis or due to aging.

Symptoms of cartilage defects

Common symptoms of cartilage defects include:

  • Pain, stiffness and swelling in the affected joint
  • Difficulty moving the knee
  • Knee locking or catching
  • Slipping sensation blocking the knee joint.

Diagnosing cartilage symptoms

Through clinical and physical examination the doctor evaluates the symptoms and affected knee joint range of motion to understand the condition, strength, and flexibility of the joint. Imaging techniques are required to understand in detail the cause, location, size, severity and reparability of cartilage damage and defects through an X-rays or an MRI scan.

Treatment options for cartilage defects

After completeing the diagnosis, the surgeon discusses the severity of the condition and various treatment techniques available to repair the defect in the cartilage to restore knee cartilage with minimally invasive procedures.

The most common knee cartilage repair procedures include: 

  • Cartilage Defects Treatment: Also known as micro-fracture is an arthroscopic surgical procedure that involves making small holes in the cartilage hole to ooze out the bone marrow cells, stem cells and blood that coat the cartilage defect.  
  • MACI procedure: During this method, the cartilage cells are grown in-vitro and the cartilage cells are implanted into the cartilage defect.  
  • DeNovo Cartilage grafting: this technique is similar to MACI, with only difference in implanting immature cartilage cells into a defect and is sealed with a biological glue and left to regenerate and heal.
  • Osteochondral Grafting or Cartilage Transplant (OATS): For severe cartilage defects, this method is more reliable and involves a cartilage transplant to fill in the cartilage defect in the knee joint.

After the Knee Cartilage surgery, during the healing period, the physical therapist plan customized treatment program to improve the range of motion, focusing on muscle strength and stability of the treated knee joint. The therapists manipulate the muscles and joints to improve their motion and flexibility. Wearing braces during the healing period help reduce pain and swelling.

At Venkateswara Hospital, we provide safe, effective and minimally invasive treatment approaches for mild or severe cartilage defects and enables a faster recovery. To know more about cartilage defects treatment plans, book an appointment now.

 

                         Authored By  Dr.S.Dhamodaran - MBBS  Orthopaedic surgeon, Kovilpatti

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