What are the treatment options for cartilage injuries of the knee?
The type, location and severity of cartilage damage will help determine the best treatment options for patients in New York. Many patients respond well to a non-surgical approach. Treatment may include:
- RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
- NSAIDs: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Bracing: To support the knee
- Non-weight bearing for a time: keeps pressure off of the damaged cartilage
- Biologics: may help alleviate symptoms and in some cases, help heal cartilage tissue.
- Physical Therapy: Strengthens supporting muscles to regain mobility and range of motion.
It’s important to remember that cartilage does not have its own blood supply, so it does not have the ability to heal itself after a tear or injury. If left untreated, a cartilage injury of the knee can cause joint deterioration, leading to degenerative disorders like osteoarthritis.
The type of cartilage repair Dr. Nwachukwu will use is based on several factors including the patient’s age, activity level, type of tear and size of lesion. Surgical treatments may include:
- Debridement: Can be done arthroscopically, this procedure shaves the damaged cartilage, creating a smooth surface. Loose bodies are removed to prevent irritation.
- Microfracture: This procedure treats areas of damaged articular cartilage in the knee. Small holes are made in the bone causing it to bleed. The blood stimulates new cartilage formation.
- BMAC: Biologics in conjunction with cartilage repair. Uses the body’s own bone marrow to heal and recreate new cartilage.