Regenerating and Replacing Lost Cartilage
As promising new therapies designed to heal worn-out or injured joints, regenerating and replacing lost cartilage are unconventional and highly innovative treatments. Remarkably, these therapies rely on the human body’s own ability to heal and repair damaged tissues.
As explained by the Arthritis Foundation, when cartilage damage occurs, there’s no longer a smooth relationship between bones in the joint. It’s like driving a car over a pothole in the road. Yet, with cartilage repair, the pothole is filled in, preventing it from getting larger. The outcome is restored joint function and relief from joint pain. At his practice in San Jose, Dr. Kerisimasi Reynolds offers specialized treatment to stimulate the healing process, as well as transplantation and autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) to restore and replace lost tissues.
Microfracture is a procedure that continues to be used to repair cartilage by cleaning and smoothing tears in the cartilage and piercing tiny holes in the underlying bone. As such, a blood clot forms that contains stem cells and rich growth factors. With time, the clot remodels into a type of cartilage called fibrocartilage, which is more durable than original cartilage (hyaline).
An Osteochondral Autograft or Allograft Transfer (otherwise known as the OATS method) involves transferring a small portion of cartilage and bone from a healthier area. Yet, when a larger area is affected, donated tissue provides another option. In turn, an Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation or ACI procedure requires surgeons to first remove healthy cartilage from an area such as the knee, for instance. The cartilage is then cultured, which produces new cartilage cells. The second part of the ACI occurs 6-8 weeks later in an open surgical procedure. During the surgery, a collagen patch is fitted over the injured cartilage, and cultured cells are injected. The cells fill in the lost tissue with cartilage over time.
Whether due to aging, wear and tear or injury, the health and overall function of a joint can have a negative impact on one’s life. Yet, while cartilage does not regenerate or heal on its own, patients need to know that they have options.
Suffering from Joint Pain and Limited Mobility? There’s Hope!
Dr. Kerisimasi Reynolds is pleased to offer advanced treatments in cartilage restoration and repair. If you are suffering with joint pain and limited mobility, there’s hope! Call to schedule a consultation with Dr. Reynolds today.