Knee cartilage surgery

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What is knee cartilage surgery?

Although minor damage to the cartilage may heal by itself, more severe injuries usually need surgical treatment. This is normally carried out using keyhole surgery as a day case under a light general anaesthetic. In more complex cases, other procedures may be advised as well. These include knee realignment surgery (osteotomy).

When there is severe arthritis in the knee and joint preservation surgery isn’t possible, Adrian is able to offer partial and total knee replacement surgery. Adipose tissue therapy is sometimes recommended alongside other types of surgery.

“I had an amazing recovery – I was able to bend my knee after 48 hours and was back to wakeboarding within two months of my operation.”

Knee chondroplasty (cartilage “tidy up”)

Used for minor cartilage problems, chondroplasty involves removing loose flaps of cartilage (which can cause a sensation of catching or pain in the joint) or fragments of tissue, as well as smoothing damaged areas. It’s usually carried out using keyhole surgery as an outpatient procedure. Recovery is faster than for traditional open surgery and, in most cases, patients can drive again one to three weeks after the operation.

Microfracture

Microfracture can be used to treat more serious knee cartilage injuries and helps with the formation of new joint surface cartilage. The damaged area is tidied up (debrided) and the bone is then punctured with a specially designed tool to create a number of holes that causes the bone to bleed. This in turn causes the cartilage to heal, while forming new tissue.

In order for this type of surgery to be successful, you’ll be advised to use crutches for six weeks after surgery before gradually returning to your usual activities (including sport).

AMIC: nanofracture

Autologous matrix-induced chondrogenesis, or AMIC® is a new one-stage treatment used to repair cartilage. It combines microfracture surgery with the use of collagen to help repair damage and regain full mobility of the joint.

Carried out using keyhole surgery, it involves a tiny amount of cartilage being taken from your knee and then implanted into a matrix made of collagen which is immediately replaced into the knee joint. Afterwards, you’ll be given a personalised physiotherapy rehabilitation programme to ensure the fastest recovery and best possible results.

In order for this type of surgery to be successful, you’ll be advised to use crutches for six weeks after surgery before gradually returning to your usual activities (including sport).

Knee cartilage transplantation (maci)

This two-stage technique, known as matrix-induced autologous chondrocyte implantation (MACI) is carried out using keyhole surgery. During the first procedure, a tiny amount of cartilage is taken from your knee and then grown in a laboratory to produce more cartilage that is attached to a matrix made of collagen. During the second procedure, the cartilage cells are implanted in the joint. Afterwards, you’ll be given a personalised physiotherapy rehabilitation programme to ensure the fastest recovery and best possible results.

In order for this type of surgery to be successful, you’ll be advised to use crutches for six weeks after surgery before gradually returning to your usual activities (including sport).

OATS surgery

Osteoarticular transfer system, or OATS, usually involves keyhole surgery and possibly a small open incision during which cartilage is removed and replaced with healthy cartilage taken from another area of the joint (autograft transplantation). It can be performed alongside other procedures including ACL surgery. Afterwards, you’ll be given a personalised rehabilitation programme to ensure the fastest recovery and best possible results.

In order for this type of surgery to be successful, you’ll be advised to use crutches for six weeks after surgery before gradually returning to your usual activities (including sport).

Osteochondral allograft transplantation

Healthy tissue from a donor is transplanted to the injured site. This can be performed alongside other procedures including ACL surgery. Afterwards, you’ll be given a personalised rehabilitation programme to ensure the fastest recovery and best possible results.

In order for this type of surgery to be successful, you’ll be advised to use crutches for around six weeks after surgery before gradually returning to your usual activities (including sport).

Our consultants

You did a micro fracture repair on my right knee in January 2017.

I would like you to know that the operation continues to be a major success. I am back to cycling and snowboarding I have stopped running as per your suggestion. I hope it lasts as long as possible! I wanted to thank you personally for the outcome I have right now. Apologies it has taken a while to contact you but I didn’t want to “jinx” it!

Peter, August 2018