What is a Cartilage Transfer?

A cartilage transfer is a procedure in which damaged cartilage in the knee is removed and replaced by healthy cartilage, taken from the same knee.

There are two main procedures involved in a cartilage transfer. During the first procedure, an arthroscope (a small surgical camera) is inserted through an incision in the knee. With the help of the arthroscope, the surgeon removes a portion of healthy cartilage.

After this first procedure, the healthy cartilage sample is taken to a lab, where it is stimulated to produce more healthy cartilage cells. It is with this new sample of heathy cartilage cells that the surgeon will replace the damaged cartilage.

During the second procedure, the arthroscope is inserted through the incision as before, and the surgeon removes the damaged cartilage. A portion of a protective layer on the surrounding bone is then removed and placed onto the area where the damaged cartilage once was. Finally, the newly produced cells are injected to replace the damaged cartilage.


Who Is the Best Candidate for a Cartilage Transfer?

According to surgeons, cartilage transfers should only be performed on patients who are between 15 and 50 years old.

Cartilage transfer is a procedure of the knee; patients with cartilage injuries in the knee, then, are the candidates for the transfer. However, cartilage transfer is best performed on patients with a specific and concrete area of damaged cartilage. This means that if a patient has damaged cartilage throughout the knee, or knee arthritis in many places, the surgeon may not recommend a cartilage transfer.

What are the Benefits of Cartilage Transfer?

If a patient has damage in the knee joint that is so severe and debilitating that the only option is surgery, then he or she has several options, including total knee joint replacement, an arthroscopic repair in which torn tissue is sewn together, or the injection of outside medication or cells. What these procedures don’t do, however, is to heal the patient’s injuries using the patient’s own cells.

With a cartilage transfer, there is a lower chance of complications and side effects, because the injury is being treated with non-foreign tissue. Additionally, because of its arthroscopic nature, there are minimal incisions involved, and speedier recovery times.


What is Post-Op Recovery Like?

Complete recovery from a cartilage transfer can take anywhere from several months to a year. Depending on the amount of cartilage that was transferred, patients who have undergone the procedure can expect to be recommended rest, physical therapy, a knee brace, and assistive walking devices.


Stress Fracture Relief in Orange County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County and Los Angeles County:

Contact Healthpointe Today!

HEALTHPOINTE offers comprehensive evaluations and treatments for all your orthopedic and related needs. To talk to one of our doctors, please schedule an appointment today!