Chrome 2001
.
Aetna Intelihealth InteliHealth Aetna Intelihealth Aetna Intelihealth
 
.
. .

   Advertisement
Carepass Ad Carepass Ad .
Chrome 2001
Chrome 2001
InteliHealth
Ask the Doc
4464
Ask the Doc
Ask The Expert
Harvard Medical School
Image of a cadeusus
. .
General Medical Questions
.
Question : I’ve been active in sports my entire life. I had debridement surgery on my right ankle one year ago. It’s still painful. Have there been any medical advances to either replace the cartilage (synthetic or real) or re-grow cartilage?
.
.
.
The Trusted Source
.
.
Howard LeWine, M.D.

Robert H. Shmerling, M.D. is associate physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and associate professor at Harvard Medical School. He has been a practicing rheumatologist for over 20 years at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is an active teacher in the Internal Medicine Residency Program, serving as the Robinson Firm Chief. He is also a teacher in the Rheumatology Fellowship Program.

.
.
February 13, 2012
.

A:

Cartilage is a tissue that lines the ends of our bones. It helps joints move smoothly. If cartilage is damaged or worn away, the joint may wear away, and cause pain and limited motion. This condition is called osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease.

Cartilage is one of the few tissues in the body that does not quickly heal after injury. That’s why researchers have been trying for decades to perfect techniques to repair or replace damaged cartilage. Unfortunately, the going has been slow.

But there is a procedure that can help certain patients. During “chondrocyte grafting” the cells that make cartilage are “harvested” from a patient and grown outside the body for a period of time. Then they are applied directly on the area of missing cartilage.

This procedure is usually successful in younger people with a small area of injured cartilage. Nearly all of these procedures are done on an injured knee. That’s because it is a large joint that can be easily accessed with an arthroscope (an instrument used to look inside knees and to perform minor surgery). This treatment is not usually offered when there is larger area of damage (as in most cases of degenerative joint disease or when a joint other than the knee is involved, such as the ankle). It’s less likely to be successful.

During your debridement surgery, the irregular surface of the cartilage is smoothed over and debris is removed. Since your injuries or arthritis required debridement, it’s likely that you have more than just a small area of cartilage damage. That and the fact that it’s your ankle, means cartilage replacement with chondrocyte grafting is probably not a good option.

Still, cartilage replacement procedures will probably improve in the near future. Doctors are experimenting with joint stem cell injections and other innovative treatments to stabilize or even reverse degenerative joint disease.

There is good news. You may get relief from the arthritis in your ankle from other treatments, including surgery or injectable medicines (such as cortisone). Go over all of your options with your doctors, including consultation with an orthopedist or podiatrist with expertise in ankle disease or a rheumatologist (arthritis specialist).

.

4581, 8464, 8465, 8467, 8473, 8475, 8486,
cartilage,ankle,arthritis,surgery
8473

.
.
InteliHealth
.
Ask A Question
.
.
InteliHealth
Do You Have A Question?
.
. . .
.
Ask The Expert Archives
Topics
.
InteliHealth
.
InteliHealth

    Print Printer-friendly format    
   
dmtatd
dmtATD
dmtatd
126747
InteliHealth
1998-05-15
f
InteliHealth
NULL
411, 4464, 4581, 4582, 7991, 7992, 7995, 7996, 7997, 8122, 8438, 8463, 8464, 8465, 8466, 8467, 8468, 8469, 8470, 8471, 8472, 8473, 8474, 8475, 8476, 8477, 8479, 8480, 8481, 8482, 8483, 8484, 8486, 8487, 8488, 8489, 8490, 8760, 14219, 20807, 21346, 21349, 21351, 23926, 23938, 24017, 24025, 24075, 24151, 24510, 24519, 24549, 24869, 24878, 25107, 25518, 25646, 25968, 29367, 29516, 29595, 48666, 48812, 59367,
4581
.
.  
This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.
.