ACL injury, treatment & reconstruction

Cartilage Restoration

Education Video Content On Cartilage Restoration

Cartilage Restoration – Everything you need to know

Is it possible to actually re-grow cartilage inside a damaged joint? Find out the answer, and more, in this educational video about cartilage injuries and the latest treatment options by Dr Matthew Hutchinson.

How Cartilage Restoration Happens?

Cartilage is in all the joints in the body, this means cartilage restoration can happen in any joint.

Without the smooth gliding and cushion from cartilage, the bone beneath becomes bruised, swollen and very painful. It literally starts to bleed, and we can see this bleeding and bruising very clearly on an MRI scan. This is essentially how osteoarthritis starts. 

Acute cartilage injuries occur when a small area within the cartilage is injured. These injuries are commonly caused by accidents, predominately on the sporting field. Essentially the majority of the cartilage is healthy, and there will be a specific injured area.

Cartilage has no blood flow, therefore it cannot heal itself. However bone is rich in blood flow and nutrients, and capable of healing itself. This can be manipulated to induce cartilage restoration.

Cartilage Microfractures

In appropriate patients, microfractures can be used to induce cartilage restoration. Several holes about 1mm big are drilled into the exposed bone surface, this brings stem-cells, bone marrow and blood flow to the surface of the bone. Overtime this will form a blood clot, which will eventually form new cartilage over time.

The cartilage you’re born with is called hyaline cartilage, however this won’t be regenerated, instead fibrocartilage will be regenerated. Fibrocartilage isn’t as strong hyaline cartilage and is more likely to break down.

This replacement fibrocartilage can last as long as 7-9 years.

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