When your joint cartilage is damaged, the needed cushion between the bones is gone. Cartilage is vital for protecting the bones as they slide against each other during movement. When a chunk of cartilage is missing due to an injury, or the cartilage is worn thin from wear, joint pain and dysfunction can occur. Since cartilage does not regenerate or repair on its own, medical treatment is needed to facilitate cartilage restoration. Jonathan L. Glashow, MD and his team offer cartilage replacement procedures at his orthopedic and sports injury clinic in Miami, FL.
One of the most common places for cartilage loss and damage is in the knee joints. These weight-bearing joints are susceptible to injury and wear, resulting in damaged cartilage. If the cartilage is lost completely, the inflammation and pain can limit mobility. Cartilage repair or replacement procedures can provide pain relief and slow cartilage loss to maintain joint function.
Advanced Cartilage Preservation Procedures
To replace damaged cartilage, there are a few different options available. While cartilage does not regenerate on its own, there are ways to stimulate new cartilage production. Injecting certain regenerative medicine substances into the joint can be useful for repairing damaged cartilage, especially in patients under the age of 50. This can include PRP and stem cell (bone marrow or amniotic fluid) injections to trigger cartilage repair.
Another way to stimulate cartilage growth is with procedures like abrasion and drilling that create small wounds on the bone. This initiates blood supply to the bone where cartilage is thin or damaged to stimulate growth.
Cartilage replacement can be accomplished by cartilage transplantation. Cartilage can be harvested from the patient to transplant to the needed area on the joint. Donor cartilage may also be used. One of the latest options is harvesting cartilage cells and growing new cartilage in a laboratory that can be transplanted into the joint.
If you have damaged cartilage that is causing pain or mobility issues, cartilage replacement may be an option. To learn more about cutting-edge cartilage restoration techniques, contact the office of Jonathan L. Glashow, MD to schedule a cartilage preservation consultation.