CARTITAGE RECONSTRUCTION SURGERY
Cartilage (hyaline cartilage or articular cartilage) is a 3-5 mm thin tissue that coats the boney surfaces inside our joints. It provides a very low friction articulation that ideally lasts a life-time.
Cartilage can be damaged acutely through accidents, such as ACL tears or patellar (knee-cap) dislocations, or degenerate slowly over time, eventually leading to osteoarthritis (wear-and-tear, rather than inflammatory arthritis).
Chondral (cartilage) reconstruction is a series of techniques and evolving technologies for treating localized loss / damage to articular cartilage. Cartilage reconstruction is not and will not be a treatment for arthritis in the foreseeable future. Cartilage reconstruction may however prevent arthritis developing in an otherwise normal knee.
Many procedures to restore articular cartilage are done arthroscopically. During arthroscopy, the procedure is done through 2 small incisions (key-holes). Some procedures require direct access to the affected area via an open incision (arthrotomy). In general, recovery from an arthroscopic procedure is quicker and less painful than traditional, open surgery. Your doctor will discuss the options with you to determine what kind of procedure is right for you.