Articular Cartilage is the white tissue lining the end of bones where these bones connect to form joints. Cartilage acts as cushioning material and helps in smooth gliding of bones during movement. Healthy cartilage in our joints makes it easier to move. It allows the bones to glide over each other with very little friction.
The main component of the joint surface is a special tissue called hyaline cartilage.When it is damaged, the joint surface may no longer be smooth. Moving bones along a tough, damaged joint surface is difficult and causes pain. Damaged cartilage can also lead to arthritis in the joint. The goal of cartilage restoration procedures is to stimulate new hyaline cartilage growth.
An injury to the joint may damage the cartilage, which cannot repair on its own. Cartilage can be damaged with increasing age, normal wear and tear, or trauma. Damaged cartilage cannot cushion the joints during movement and the joints may rub over each other causing severe pain and inflammation.In many cases, patients who have joint injuries, such as meniscal or ligament tears, will also have cartilage damage. This damage may be hard to diagnose because hyaline cartilage does not contain calcium and cannot be seen on an X-ray. If other injuries exist with cartilage damage, doctors will address all problems during surgery.
Ideal candidates for cartilage restoration procedures are young or have only one injury. There are various surgical procedures used to restore cartilage. During an arthroscopic procedure, your surgeon will make three small incisions around your joint. Arthroscopic procedures are less invasive and typically have a quicker recovery period. In some cases, a surgeon may need more direct access to the inflamed area and will do a longer, open procedure.
Fortunately, the Bone & Joint Clinic offers developed techniques to heal, transfer, transplant and in some cases, even regrow joint cartilage. Your surgeon will work with you closely to figure out which type of surgery best fits your injury and recovery needs. We are committed to developing personal relationships with our patients and we will do everything in our power to satisfy your individual needs.