Rebuilding & Regrowing Knee Cartilage

Rebuilding & Regrowing Knee Cartilage


by Chris Pallia MD

As a specialist in sports medicine, I wanted to educate you about a new product and/or concept that is available now for the repair of focal cartilage defects of the knee and other joints.

When someone sustains a traumatic injury to the knee with ongoing pain or mechanical
symptoms an MRI is recommended. If there is a focal full thickness cartilage defect and patients have developed pain from some overload due to the loss of cartilage, you may be a candidate for this innovative new procedure. Furthermore, patients who have an area of osteonecrosis in their knee that hasn’t healed may also be a candidate for this procedure.

There’s a new technique that rebuilds the cartilage and regrows the cartilage. We’ve heard many times that cartilage doesn’t regrow, but scientists now have developed a way to regrow cartilage in a lab and then re-implant it into the defect in the knee after amplifying the number of cells. The cells are inserted into a collagen membrane that gets placed into the focal cartilage defects such as what you see on this model.

This model shows a couple of representative cartilage defects that are very commonly encountered in younger athletic patients. And so, when there’s an area of cartilage loss here and you don’t repair it, all the cartilage on the edges of the lesion are going to slowly wear down and you’re going to get a progressive arthritic knee.

With this new technique, it helps prevent progression of arthritis, reduces pain from cartilage defects, and is a significant advancement in orthopedic technology.

I’ve been performing this procedure now for the last year and I’ve had excellent results. Making more people aware of this new technology will reduce pain and premature development of arthritis. If you’re interested or think you might have a focal cartilage lesion that needs treatment, I’d be happy to evaluate you at my office in Coronado or Sorrento Valley.

You can reach my office at (619) 435-7282.

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