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OAS Health Blog

Dr. Haas describes treatment option for articular cartilage injuries

August 15, 2014

Articular cartilage defects in the knee can lead to significant pain and disability. The articular cartilage coats the surface of the joint permitting the bones in the joint to glide. This enables the knee to bend and straighten and the knee to function for the patient to walk, run, jump, work and play sports. After a trauma, or after extensive overload use, the cartilage can develop a defect that is not unlike a pothole on a smooth asphalt road. It is that pothole, or defect, that leads to grinding, pain, and swelling with use of the knee.

Sports medicine orthopaedic surgeons have a number of options to help manage these articular cartilage defects. Cartilage restoration techniques such as osteochondral allograft transplantation and autologous chondrocyte implantation can be very successful but often require second operations and require rigorous and prolonged rehabilitation protocols. A relatively new procedure, called Biocartilage transplantation from Arthrex provides an option that enables resolution of the articular cartilage defect with one operation and is a biologic therapy to promote the patient's own stem cell recruitment with the addition of the Biocartilage scaffold.

I was the first surgeon in Stamford and in Fairfield county to implant Biocartilage, almost 16 months ago. We have since treated a number of other patients with focal articular cartilage defects with this revolutionary technique. Our first patient, like many of the subsequent patients on whom we have operated with this technique, has returned to full sports and was able to continue with her running, exercise and tennis activities with no pain and no limitations.

Is your knee pain a result of an articular cartilage injury that could benefit from this new articular cartilage repair technique? If you have had a trauma or have had a gradual onset of knee pain leading to swelling, grinding, clicking, buckling and limitation in daily activities and sports, an evaluation and imaging will be the first step to getting you back on the field and returning you to your prior level of activity.

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