Things to know
- Cartilage is a connective tissue present at the end of the bones that make up a joint. While the cartilage is a strong and flexible body part, it can be damaged over time due to a variety of reasons.
- A healthy cartilage is important for you to make smooth body movements, perform daily activities and play sports.
- A damaged cartilage cannot regenerate on its own. However, it can be corrected with a cartilage restoration surgery.
Your cartilage is a strong, flexible tissue that is present at the end of your bones where they come together to make a joint. This tissue is significant for your joint as it allows you to make a smooth movement and acts as a shock absorber. Joint cartilage acts as a cushion for your bones and prevents them from rubbing against each other during weight-bearing activities.
Additionally, your cartilage stores synovial fluid which promotes lubrication and circulates nutrients to the joint.
About cartilage transplant
Your cartilage can be damaged due to injury, age-related wear and tear and certain diseases such as osteoarthritis.
Cartilage transplant is a unique, state-of-the-art surgical procedure in which your orthopaedic surgeon replaces the damaged cartilage with a new one. The new, healthy cartilage is grafted from other non-weight bearing body parts of the patient. Usually, this procedure is very prominent for the knee joint.
A cartilage transplant is offered to both young and adult patients. It can help heal a cartilage defect of more than 1 cm in size
Benefits for the patients
The cartilage transplant procedure is considered highly beneficial for patients. It offers the following benefits:
- Own, healthy joint working at maximum capability
- Prolonged pain relief
- Enhanced agility
- Increased flexibility
- Better joint performance
- Prevention of joint replacement surgery for long
- Restoration of the cartilage layer
- Quicker recovery
Cartilage transplant step-by-step procedure
Before your surgeon performs the transplant, he/she will first prepare the new, healthy cartilage grafted from some other part of the body. The process of harvesting and making new cartilage is done in a laboratory prior to the transplant.
Once the new cartilage is ready, your surgeon will begin the procedure by offering anaesthesia. This procedure can be done in a minimally invasive manner. Your surgeon makes several small incisions to access the damaged cartilage. This deceased cartilage is surgically removed while the new cartilage is then pasted. The procedure nearly takes an hour to complete.
The grafted cartilage eventually becomes strong and flexible, naturally. You can expect to have the full weight-bearing capacity in the next 3 months of the procedure.
Yes, damaged cartilage can be restored by a cartilage transplant procedure.
Legumes, oranges, pomegranates, green tea, brown rice, nuts and Brussel sprouts are healthy foods to help your cartilage heal.
It can become damaged as a result of a sudden injury, such as a sports injury, or gradual wear and tear (osteoarthritis).