Advanced Cartilage Replacement

Diablo Foot & Ankle

Dr. Elmi specializes in

Advanced Cartilage Replacement

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Advanced Cartilage Replacement

Articular cartilage is the white tissue that lines the ends of the bones where they connect to make joints. This cartilage helps to cushion the bones and absorb pressure as well as lubricate the bones to prevent wear and tear. When this cartilage becomes too thin, non-existent, or damaged due to overuse, it can cause the bones to grind on one another. This can cause various problems including decreased mobility and stiffness, as well as swelling.

Types of Cartilage Replacement

There are various types of cartilage replacement. Each might be used according to the needs of the patient. The different types of cartilage replacement include:

  • Microfracture: In this method, holes are created in the joint surface, to extend past the surface layer of cartilage. This allows new opportunities for the blood to flow, thus promoting new growth.
  • Drilling: This method is similar to microfracture, except that a drill is used to create many small holes. 
  • Abrasion Arthroplasty: With this method, the old or ‘tired’ cartilage is removed with a high-speed tool in order to stimulate and allow new cartilage to grow.
  • Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation: In this method, new tissue that has been grown from other cartilage tissue cells is implanted to replace the old tissue.
  • Osteochondral Autograft Transplantation: This method is the same as the one above except that the cartilage is taken from a donor instead of being cultured.
  • Implant Arthroplasty: A synthetic piece of manufactured plastic, similar to the density of human cartilage, is used to replace a portion of damaged cartilage in a joint. 

Reasons to Get Advanced Cartilage Replacement

Pain Relief

One of the main reasons that people choose to undergo advanced cartilage replacement is to relieve the pain that is caused by worn, damaged, or non-existent cartilage. When the bones within a joint do not have the necessary cushion or lubrication, the normal functioning of the joint can be extremely painful. It is also common that it impedes the full range of motion in the joint.

Restore Normal Function

Since the lack of cartilage or damaged cartilage can cause a decrease in the range of motion and inhibit normal functioning, one of the most common reasons that people get advanced cartilage replacement is to restore the function of the affected area.

Delay or Prevent Arthritis

Advanced cartilage replacement can also delay or prevent arthritis. People often get advanced cartilage replacement in their feet and ankles when the doctor advises it for the prevention or delay of arthritis.

When to Get Advanced Cartilage Replacement

If you feel tightness, swelling, pain, or a scraping or popping sensation in your feet or ankles when you move them, it might be time to learn more about advanced cartilage replacement. When you feel these symptoms, you should meet with your doctor to determine the problem and whether or not you need cartilage replacement. Cartilage replacement in ankle joints can improve your mobility, reduce pain, and help to prevent or delay the onset of arthritis.

If you feel that you may need evaluation of the cartilage in your joints, or if your doctor has already suggested treatment, you should not wait until the condition worsens to have the procedure done. The sooner you handle the issue, the less likely that you will be to sustain further damage or suffer from complications of pre-existing problems. 

Do not forget that your aftercare is important. When you get advanced cartilage replacement, you should follow the aftercare procedures that are prescribed by your doctor meticulously. Your feet and ankles are literally the foundation of the body and with so many small bones and integral parts, they should not be ignored.

At Diablo Foot and Ankle, we can assess whether a cartilage replacement treatment is the best for you. We provide a variety of treatments for joint issues. Reach out to us to schedule an appointment today.