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Osteoarthritis and Knee Cartilage Repairs

Osteoarthritis of the Knee & Knee Cartilage Repairs-AOE

conditions Meniscus TearOrthoConnecticut’ team of board certified, fellowship trained knee specialists have a great deal of experience treating osteoarthritis of the knee, as well as knee cartilage replacement. We offer state-of-the-art treatment and the convenience of both surgery and follow-up care in a local setting.

Our team of knee cartilage repair specialists include:

Knee Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, or "wear and tear" arthritis, is a degenerative condition in which the smooth cartilage covering the ends of the bones gradually wears away. Cartilage is a tough, flexible connective tissue that protects the ends of bones in the joints. Osteoarthritis is common in the knees because the knees bear the weight of the body. Osteoarthritis of the knee can severely impact a person's lifestyle.

Symptoms of Knee Ostearthritis

Symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee may include pain, swelling and stiffness of the joint. The knee may become weak, and it may lock or buckle when walking. A person with osteoarthritis may have trouble bending or straightening the knee. Standing or walking for long periods may worsen this pain.

Treatment for Knee Osteoarthritis

Treatment options depend on the severity of the arthritis. In the early stages, the knee may be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroid injections, and injections of medications that lubricate the joint. The physician may recommend physical therapy, a knee brace and weight loss to relieve stress on the joint. If these methods are not helpful and if the knee continues to deteriorate, surgery may be needed to repair the joint.

Repair and Treatment for Knee Cartilage Disorders

When knee cartilage has been severely damaged due to injury, defect or a chronic condition, the cartilage can be replaced through a special technique that regenerates the patient's own hyaline cartilage, (a weight-bearing cartilage that lines the surface of the knee joint).

Through a small incision in the knee, the surgeon uses an arthroscope to look for signs of damage in the knee joint. If a defect is found, the surgeon removes a small sample of healthy cartilage from a non weight-bearing region of the knee. The sample is sent to the Genzyme laboratory, where it is stimulated to produce approximately 12 million similar cells. The process, called cell culturing, takes about four to five weeks. Once completed, the new cells are returned to the surgeon.

The surgeon now performs a second surgery to implant the new cartilage cells. First, the surgeon removes the knee's damaged or diseased cartilage, along with any loose tissue. A small patch of thin, fibrous tissue called periosteum is removed from the surface of the tibia. The periosteum patch is sewn over the area where the diseased or damaged cartilage was removed. The new cultured cells are implanted beneath the patch through a thin needle. Over time, the cultured cells will adhere to the damaged area, forming a new layer of weight-bearing cartilage tissue.

Information courtesy of ViewMedia