Joint Preservation Treatments
Hundreds of thousands of joint replacement procedures are performed each year in the U.S. The weight-bearing joints like the knees and hips are the most susceptible to wear and tear that can result in joint failure. Instead of waiting for joints to deteriorate, there are ways to protect the joints from extreme wear. Jonathan L. Glashow, MD and his team provide joint preservation treatments at his orthopedic surgery and sports injury clinic in Miami, FL.
Damaged or thin cartilage is usually the culprit that progresses joint failure. Cartilage provides cushion between the bones as the joints move, but it can be lost or damaged due to wear, injury, disease and other factors. Without a cartilage cushion, there is friction between the bones that causes inflammation in the joint. Inflammation can cause further damage to the cartilage, creating a vicious cycle of cartilage loss. Since cartilage does not repair itself, this can lead to pain and dysfunction in the joints.
Joint preservation treatments are designed to slow the progression of cartilage loss. While there is not a cure for diseases such as osteoarthritis that cause cartilage damage, you can stimulate cartilage repair with certain treatments. This can delay or delete the need for joint replacement.
Repairing Damaged Cartilage
When the cartilage in joints is wearing thin or there are areas damaged by injury, joint preservation techniques can be used to repair the tissue. Very little blood supply occurs at the end of the bones, which is why cartilage does not easily repair itself. Joint preservation procedures can deliver blood, platelets, stem cells or growth factors to the areas of cartilage loss to stimulate repair. Some of the methods used to preserve damaged joints and cartilage include:
With the use of joint preservation treatments, many patients with joint pain and dysfunction can achieve improved mobility. Stimulating joint healing can slow the deterioration of the cartilage and other tissues, delaying the need for more invasive procedures. If you have joint damage, contact the office of Jonathan L. Glashow, MD to schedule a joint preservation consultation to determine if these treatments may be right for you.