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Most degenerative issues with joints are caused by damaged cartilage. Wear and tear, aging, injuries and disease can all impact joint cartilage. When cartilage wears thin or it is torn, pain and joint dysfunction often follow. If not treated, cartilage damage may result in destroying the joint, requiring a total replacement to restore function. To stop joint pain and maintain function, cartilage replacement may be needed. Our orthopedic joint specialists at DOCS Health offer cartilage replacement and regeneration options at our medical center in Los Angeles.

Joint articular cartilage does not heal or repair as well as other tissues. The blood supply to the cartilage is not enough to stimulate repair when it is ripped due to injury or worn thin over time. Once lost, cartilage does not grow back on its own. The loss of cushion between the bones in the joints can cause friction and inflammation, which leads to osteoarthritis and joint pain.

Regenerating or Replacing Joint Cartilage

Medical treatment is needed to repair, replace or regenerate joint cartilage. At DOCS Health, we utilize advanced methods to replace lost cartilage and restore joint health. Some options to stimulate healing include PRP or bone marrow concentrate (BMC) injections. Arthroscopy can also be performed to drill, grind or microfracture the bone to increase blood supply and stimulate cartilage healing.

For cartilage replacement, there are two main options available: autologous chondrite implantation (ACI) and osteochondral autograft transplantation surgery (OATS). ACI harvests chondrite cartilage cells from the joint that can be stimulated to reproduce in a laboratory, then implanted back into the joint. OATS harvest healthy cartilage from other joints to implant into the damaged joint.

Damaged or lost cartilage does not necessarily mean you will need a joint replacement. With new medical technology, cartilage replacement can often be performed to delay or avoid joint replacement, while providing relief from joint pain. To learn more about cartilage replacement and regeneration options, contact us at DOCS Health in Los Angeles.