Cartilage Restoration

Car­ti­lage restora­tion is an alter­na­tive to joint replace­ment surgery for indi­vid­u­als with car­ti­lage dam­age. Car­ti­lage restora­tion repairs dam­aged car­ti­lage by implant­i­ng healthy car­ti­lage to the joint space and can be done in one of two ways:

Autol­o­gous Chon­dro­cyte Implan­ta­tion (ACI) is a two-step pro­ce­dure used to treat areas of dam­aged car­ti­lage with full thick­ness car­ti­lage loss. First, the sur­geon will extract healthy car­ti­lage from the patien­t’s knee and allow it to culutre to pro­duce new car­ti­lage cells. After sev­er­al weeks, the healthy cells will be implant­ed and used to patch dam­aged cartilage. 

Osteo­chon­dral Trans­plants are used to treat large areas of car­ti­lage and when a bone injury has also occurred. Dur­ing the pro­ce­dure, the sur­geon will trans­fer small plugs of car­ti­lage and bone tak­en from a healthy, non-weight bear­ing area of the patien­t’s knee to the injured area. Larg­er areas of dam­age may require the use of a donor.