Damaged cartilage does not regenerate, and replacing this worn cartilage with new cartilage is every patient’s and doctor’s dream. To this day, it is impossible to fix extreme cartilage wear due to osteoarthritis.However, cartilage grafts can be performed in a few particular cases: The wear has to be limited to a few square centimeters, the cartilage around the lesion has to be in good condition, and the injury has to be located on the femoral condyles. This graft is made so as to prevent future osteoarthritis induced by the lack of cartilage.
Two procedures are currently available: mosaic surgery and cartilaginous cells transplant.
- Mosaic surgery involves taking small bone samples and their cartilage cover from the knee. This procedure is performed arthroscopically. Walking is possible with the aid of a cane for 3 weeks. As this is a new procedure, its long-term results are still unknown.
- Cartilaginous cell transplant is a much more difficult and expensive procedure that necessitates two operations, the second of which creates two scars. This procedure has rarely been practiced, and the number of cases treated this way is very low.