When the articular cartilage in your knee begins to wear out and you lose the smooth gliding surface as a result, it can not only cause pain but change the way your knee functions. In most cases, early treatment is important in preventing worsening of the damage and causing more severe pain and complications. If you’re experiencing knee problems, like pain, stiffness, clicking, or popping, contact Dr. Kristofer J. Jones in Los Angeles or book an appointment online for a complete examination and treatment plan today.
There’s more than one kind of cartilage, but transplants are designed to repair articular or hyaline cartilage, which lines the bones to create a smooth, slippery surface and allows for full range of motion in your knee. Damage to your articular cartilage compromises this smooth surface, changing the way your knee functions and often causing pain and discomfort.
Articular cartilage can either be damaged by normal wear and tear on your joint or by injury. For this reason, most people suffering from articular cartilage damage fall into one of two categories: older people or young people who have suffered an injury.
Although orthopedic surgeons have been trying to find ways to repair damaged cartilage for many years, few have proven to be successful for most patients until now. The most effective treatment is an innovative procedure called cartilage transplant.
During cartilage transplant surgery, healthy cartilage cells are taken from a non-vital area in the same joint, grown in the lab, and then replanted into the damaged area. This procedure has proven to create positive results in more patients than many prior options for treatment.
Minor cartilage tears may not be accompanied by any symptoms at all, but as the damage worsens you can expect to experience tenderness, redness, swelling, stiffness, and limited range of motion.
The symptoms of cartilage damage closely resemble the symptoms associated with other joint injuries, so it’s important to be evaluated by a physician right away if you begin experiencing problems.
Dr. Jones and his staff provide you with detailed instructions to follow leading up to surgery, which might include reading educational materials, purchasing adaptive equipment, and abstaining from smoking for at least a week before surgery. Additionally, you shouldn’t eat or drink anything after midnight prior to your procedure.
Most patients experience pain and discomfort for a few days after their procedure, but Dr. Jones works hard to ensure a comfortable recovery. You’ll be sent home with exercises and any equipment required to do them, such as a continuous passive motion (CPM) machine.
Talk to Dr. Jones in advance about your restrictions after surgery and the amount of time you expect to spend away from work and other activities.