Damage or loss of cartilage in the joints can cause pain, inflammation and osteoarthritis. Since cartilage cannot repair itself, thin or damaged cartilage allows friction in the joint that leads to deterioration. There are treatments available that can slow joint deterioration, delaying or avoiding the need for joint replacement surgery. One option is minimally-invasive abrasion arthroplasty surgery, available at DOCS Health in Los Angeles.
Weight-bearing joints, like the knee, are the most common to experience cartilage damage. When the cartilage wears thin or a piece is lost due to injury, the friction can cause inflammation, pain and arthritis. To relieve pain and stop further erosion, abrasion arthroplasty can be performed to replace the lost cartilage with fibrocartilage, a type of scar tissue. While fibrocartilage is not as tough or effective as articular cartilage, it can help preserve the joint and reduce painful symptoms.
Minimally-Invasive Cartilage Restoration
Abrasion arthroplasty is performed by using an arthroscope and small surgical tools to access the joint and stimulate fibrocartilage growth. The arthroscope is a small, flexible tube that has a light and camera attached to view the inside of the knee. Small “keyhole” incisions are made to insert the arthroscope and surgical tools. The area of thin or defective cartilage is cleaned or abraded, removing bone spurs or debris. The bare bone is shaped and removed to allow bleeding and bone stem cells to come to the surface, which can stimulate the production of fibrocartilage in that area.
Abrasion arthroplasty works best for small areas of defective cartilage that can be covered with fibrocartilage to reduce friction, inflammation and pain. For larger areas of thin or missing cartilage, other methods of joint preservation may be better suited to achieve the desired result.
If you have joint pain caused by damaged or lost cartilage, joint preservation treatments like abrasion arthroplasty could offer you relief and delay more aggressive treatments. Contact our orthopedic team at DOCS Health to schedule a joint preservation consultation at our clinic in Los Angeles.