Knee Preservation with Cartilage Repair & Meniscus Repair

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Knee Preservation with Cartilage Repair: A Pathway to Mobility and Longevity

The knee joint plays a crucial role in our daily lives, facilitating movement, stability, and weight-bearing activities. However, the integrity of the knee joint can be compromised by various factors, including injury, overuse, and degenerative conditions. Damage to the knee’s cartilage, in particular, can have significant adverse implications for joint health and function, often leading to pain, stiffness, and impaired mobility. In recent years, there has been growing interest in knee preservation strategies aimed at repairing damaged cartilage and restoring joint function.

What are the Consequences of Knee Cartilage Damage?

The knee cartilage is vulnerable to damage from acute injuries, such as sports-related trauma or falls, as well as chronic conditions like osteoarthritis. When cartilage is compromised, the protective layer between the bones wears away, leading to friction, inflammation, and ultimately, joint degeneration. In addition to pain and stiffness, cartilage damage can impair joint stability, increase the risk of further injury, and accelerate the progression of osteoarthritis. If left untreated, severe cartilage damage may necessitate invasive interventions such as joint replacement surgery, with implications for long-term mobility and function.
The knee cartilage is a crucial tissue that facilitates movement.

HOW CAN CARTILAGE REPAIR TECHNIQUES BENEFIT KNEE PRESERVATION EFFORTS?​

Cartilage repair plays a vital role in knee preservation, offering hope for individuals with cartilage damage to maintain mobility, function, and quality of life. Recognising the importance of preserving the knee joint and avoiding or delaying the need for more invasive procedures, orthopaedic specialists have explored various techniques for cartilage repair without requiring any modifications to its surrounding tissues. These approaches aim to restore the structural integrity of the cartilage, alleviate symptoms, and promote long-term joint health.

Microfracture procedure allows injected stem cells to promote the formation of new cartilage tissues.

Some common cartilage repair techniques include:

  • Microfracture: Microfracture involves creating small holes in the bone beneath the damaged cartilage, enabling blood and stem cells to access the injured area and promote the formation of new cartilage-like tissue. This procedure is often performed arthroscopically and is suitable for smaller cartilage defects.
  • Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (ACI): ACI involves harvesting healthy cartilage cells (chondrocytes) from the patient’s own body, culturing them in a laboratory, and then implanting them into the damaged area of the knee joint to promote cartilage regeneration. ACI is frequently recommended for younger patients with minimal cartilage damage.
  • Osteochondral Autograft Transplantation (OAT): OAT involves transferring healthy cartilage and bone tissue from a non-weight-bearing knee area to the damaged area, restoring the joint’s structural integrity and function.
  • Cartilage Regeneration: Restoring damaged cartilage by harnessing the body’s cells to replace damaged cartilage. Cartilage regeneration is often performed through arthroscopic methods, which are minimally invasive. Cartilage regeneration is only possible for individuals with minimal cartilage damage.

Nonetheless, it is important to understand that cartilage repair surgery comes with risks as with any other surgery. Although the surgical procedure is generally safe since post-surgery complications are relatively uncommon, some possible side effects include infection, and blood clot formation.

What Happens During the Cartilage Repair Surgery?
  1. Preparation: The patient is prepped for surgery, which includes anesthesia administration and positioning on the operating table.
  2. Accessing the Joint: An incision is made to access the affected joint, often using arthroscopic techniques for minimally invasive procedures.
  3. Cartilage Repair: The damaged cartilage is treated using various techniques like microfracture, mosaicplasty, or autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) to promote healing and regeneration.
  4. Closure: After repairing the cartilage, the surgical site is carefully closed and dressed to prevent infection and promote healing.

Patients undergoing cartilage repair procedures should have realistic expectations regarding pain relief, functional improvement, and return to activity. The procedure’s success is contingent on various factors, including the size and location of the cartilage defect, the patient’s age, overall health, and adherence to postoperative rehabilitation. Long-term success depends on various factors such as patient compliance with postoperative rehabilitation, maintenance of a healthy lifestyle, and avoidance of activities that place undue stress on the repaired joint.

  • Pain Management: Pain and swelling are common in the early stages of recovery. Pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs will be prescribed to manage discomfort.
  • Physical Therapy: Physical therapy focuses on restoring range of motion, strength, and stability in the affected joint. Therapeutic exercises, manual therapy techniques, and modalities such as ultrasound or electrical stimulation may be incorporated into the rehabilitation programme.

Visit Alps Orthopaedic Centre

At Alps, we care about you and will do our utmost to help you gradually return to your usual activities.

Book an appointment with our experienced Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr Jerry Chen, for a detailed assessment and tailored treatment plan.

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Dr Jerry Chen

MBBS (S’pore), MRCSEd, MMed (Ortho), FRCSEd (Ortho)

Fellowship-trained Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon & Medical Director

Why Alps Orthopaedic Centre?

At Alps Orthopaedic Centre, we specialise in Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS). Performed as a Day Surgery, the ERAS Direct Anterior Approach in Total Hip Replacement (THR) technique as well as ERAS Total Knee Replacement (TKR), reduces the average hospitalisation stay, utilising techniques which enable the patient to suffer from less pain and recover faster. We are an Orthopaedic clinic in Singapore, which specialises in ERAS and do our utmost to enable patients to return to everyday activities as early as possible. 

Our Orthopaedic clinic provides specialised diagnosis and effective treatment of musculoskeletal problems, especially Day Surgery / Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) For Hip and Knee Surgery, Sports Injuries and Trauma Fractures. If you are considering hip or knee surgery or minimally invasive treatments, book an appointment with our experienced Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr Jerry Chen, for a thorough assessment and treatment plan. 

Our aim is to boost patient well-being, optimising every aspect of the surgical journey. By minimising the recovery period, patients are able to go back to activities that they love. The Alps team offers comprehensive financial counselling sessions to ensure our patients understand their options and make informed decisions regarding their treatment plans.

Has this article been insightful? Share it!

Dr Jerry Chen

MBBS (S’pore), MRCSEd, MMed (Ortho), FRCSEd (Ortho)

Fellowship-trained Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon & Medical Director

Why Alps Orthopaedic Centre?

At Alps Orthopaedic Centre, we specialise in Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS). Performed as a Day Surgery, the ERAS Direct Anterior Approach in Total Hip Replacement (THR) technique as well as ERAS Total Knee Replacement (TKR), reduces the average hospitalisation stay, utilising techniques which enable the patient to suffer from less pain and recover faster. We are an Orthopaedic clinic in Singapore, which specialises in ERAS and do our utmost to enable patients to return to everyday activities as early as possible. 

Our Orthopaedic clinic provides specialised diagnosis and effective treatment of musculoskeletal problems, especially Day Surgery / Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) For Hip and Knee Surgery, Sports Injuries and Trauma Fractures. If you are considering hip or knee surgery or minimally invasive treatments, book an appointment with our experienced Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr Jerry Chen, for a thorough assessment and treatment plan. 

Our aim is to boost patient well-being, optimising every aspect of the surgical journey. By minimising the recovery period, patients are able to go back to activities that they love. The Alps team offers comprehensive financial counselling sessions to ensure our patients understand their options and make informed decisions regarding their treatment plans.

Has this article been insightful? Share it!

Dr Jerry Chen

MBBS (S’pore), MRCSEd, MMed (Ortho), FRCSEd (Ortho)

Fellowship-trained Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon & Medical Director

Why Alps Orthopaedic Centre?

At Alps Orthopaedic Centre, we specialise in Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS). Performed as a Day Surgery, the ERAS Direct Anterior Approach in Total Hip Replacement (THR) technique as well as ERAS Total Knee Replacement (TKR), reduces the average hospitalisation stay, utilising techniques which enable the patient to suffer from less pain and recover faster. We are an Orthopaedic clinic in Singapore, which specialises in ERAS and do our utmost to enable patients to return to everyday activities as early as possible. 

Our Orthopaedic clinic provides specialised diagnosis and effective treatment of musculoskeletal problems, especially Day Surgery / Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) For Hip and Knee Surgery, Sports Injuries and Trauma Fractures. If you are considering hip or knee surgery or minimally invasive treatments, book an appointment with our experienced Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr Jerry Chen, for a thorough assessment and treatment plan. 

Our aim is to boost patient well-being, optimising every aspect of the surgical journey. By minimising the recovery period, patients are able to go back to activities that they love. The Alps team offers comprehensive financial counselling sessions to ensure our patients understand their options and make informed decisions regarding their treatment plans.