Knee Cartilage Repair is essential in case of damaged cartilage. Otherwise, if left untreated, that can adversely affect your health. A damaged cartilage does not heal on its own.
We help you restore damaged cartilage with effective medication and surgical procedures.
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When you experience recurrent pain, swelling or sensation of “catching” in the knee, that limits you from doing your favourite physical activity or sports, then you should consider surgery for your cartilage injury.
You should also already have tried medications, rest and physiotherapy and still be experiencing knee symptoms, before considering surgery for the cartilage injury.
Our experienced cartilage doctors use a keyhole approach, introducing an instrument known as the arthroscope, to look around the knee and assess the severity of the lesion.
Next, the cartilage ulcer are cleaned or debrided to achieve stable margins/walls. After that, microfracture may be performed using specialised awls/picks. This is the most commonly-done and reproducible way of stimulating new cartilage growth. Prior to embarking on this technique, MRI is done to assess the size of the lesion, as typically the cartilage lesion should range from 0.5cm to 2cm for this technique to achieve good outcomes.
After that, usually, a scaffold is applied over the lesion, and this can be enhanced with bone marrow aspirate concentrate. In certain bone defects, such as those over the patella, no microfracture is done, but a scaffold infused with bone marrow concentrate is placed on the defects after stable margins are achieved.
Absorbable sutures are placed and waterproof dressings are applied carefully. We take proper care of sanitation to avoid any infection.
(The cartilage repair surgery is typically done under general anaesthesia at cartilage regeneration Singapore)
Cartilage repair can be done as a day surgery. Crutches and weight bearing restrictions may be required after the surgery depending on the location of the cartilage defect. Crutches might be required up to 6 to 8 weeks post-surgery. Patients are usually allowed to resume high impact
activities 3 months after surgery.
Dressings change will be required every 4-5 days. A shower cover can be provided to help keep the dressings dry and intact.
After surgery, time should also be set aside for physiotherapy and rehabilitation. This will be focused on swelling reduction in the initial phase, followed by quads reactivation and strengthening, and thereafter conditioning exercises to facilitate a return to your favourite sporting activities.
Yes, cartilage damage can be repaired. It is done by using surgical techniques. Some surgeries relieve only symptoms while others completely restore function.
No, damaged cartilage does not tend to heal well on its own,due to poor blood supply. However not all cartilage defects require surgery. We need to assess certain factors relating to the defect, such as the size, location of the defect, presence of bone marrow lesion, any long leg deformity, and associated injuries such as meniscal and ligamentous injuries of the knee. We also need to assess the age, function of the patient, as well as the degree of pain, frequency of swelling, and what treatments patients have received so far. We then discuss with our patients their concerns and expectations, before formulating a treatment plan. Some patients with cartilage defects will benefit from surgery after assessment.
If you observe the following signs, your cartilage is damaged:
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Evaluation of Knee Pain with X-ray
Evaluation of Knee Pain with X-ray
38 Irrawaddy Road,
Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre,
#09-21/38, Singapore 329563
Monday to Friday: 9 am to 5 pm
Saturday: 9am to 1pm
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays
Our doctors share their journeys as orthopaedic surgeons as well as offer insights and tips.