Losing cartilage in joints due to aging, wear and tear, trauma or injury can impact the health and function of the joint. When cartilage is lost, there is no longer the cushion and protection needed for the bones during normal joint function. Replacement or regeneration of cartilage tissue through orthopedic treatment can restore joint function and offer relief from joint pain. Dr. Kerisimasi Reynolds offers cartilage and joint preservation treatments at his practice in San Jose for pain relief and improved mobility.
Will Cartilage Heal?
On its own, cartilage does not regenerate or heal. When cartilage is worn thin through use, or trauma damages the cartilage in a joint, it does not repair itself. Once cartilage is gone, the cushion needed for joint movement is lost, causing friction. This leads to pain and inflammation, reducing mobility. To restore cartilage and joint function, replacement of lost cartilage or regeneration treatments are needed.
Treatments For Restoring Lost Cartilage
To restore lost cartilage, you can either stimulate the healing process or replace the lost tissue. Stimulating healing or regeneration can be accomplished through drilling or microfracture surgery, which establishes a new blood supply that helps with generating new cartilage cells. Platelet-rich plasma or bone marrow concentrate can also be injected into the joint, introducing growth factors that can help with regeneration.
For replacing cartilage, transplantation can be used, grafting cartilage from another joint or a donor. Another option is autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI), which removes cartilage cells from a joint, multiples them in a lab, then reintroduces them to damaged cartilage to grow new tissue.
There are many advances in cartilage restoration and repair, offering hope for those with joint pain and lost mobility. If you have joint problems caused by deteriorated or damaged cartilage, contact the office of Dr. Reynolds to schedule a consultation.