Cartilage surgery may be able to help repair the damage caused by trauma to your knee.
Articular cartilage is normally covering the ends of our bones protecting it and assuring a smooth movement of the joints. Due to trauma it may break away and you may have loose pieces of cartilage blocking the normal range of movement locking the knee. It may also wear away and the joint swells, becomes painful and the movement becomes restricted leading to stiffness and reduced mobility.
If your knee is not improving with conservative treatment and you develop locking or sudden reduced range of movement, surgery might be recommended to address the symptoms and it may help in some cases.
Knee Cartilage Surgery Procedure
Arthroscopic surgery or keyhole surgery is the most common way of addressing cartilage injuries. Two or more small incisions are made usually on the anterior aspect of your knee which will give us access to the knee joint. We then introduce a camera – the arthroscope and specifically designed instruments to explore the joint and repair or remove the unstable cartilage lesions.
Modern techniques such use of AMIC – Autologous Matrix induced Chondrogenesis are employed to deal with most types of cartilage lesions including drilling or microfracture to stimulate bone marrow or stem cells release and the use of biological scaffolds to encourage better and for longer-term favourable outcome.
In some cases, mini open surgery might be required in order to address better the knee condition after the arthroscopic exploration has helped establish the diagnosis.
If you have a larger area of damaged cartilage due to trauma, osteochondral plugs may be recommended.
Mr Nita has been trained in modern techniques of cartilage surgery and you will be able to explore all the available options for your knee condition. Depending on the severity of your knee injury, the exact details will be discussed at length to help you make an informed decision.
Risks of Knee Cartilage Surgery
Knee arthroscopy is a form of minimally invasive surgery and carries less risks than open surgery, however blood clots into the leg or the lungs and infection are to be considered.
Compartment syndrome and nerve or blood vessel injuries are rare complications but not to be ignored.
Recovering from Knee Cartilage Surgery
Swelling, pain and stiffness are common and should improve following ice elevation and rest and specific physiotherapy exercises recommended by your therapist.
Post surgery, your knee will recover fairly quickly and on average should be able to return to work within 4 to 6 weeks.
Mr Nita will discuss with you the exact details of your knee condition, the surgical procedure with risks versus benefits and the expected recovery time in the clinic and support you to make the best decision for your circumstances.