Description of Medical ServiceHyaline articular cartilage provides a smooth and resilient surface at the ends of bones, allowing virtually frictionless movement within the knee joint. Damage to the articular cartilage can be caused directly by injury (often as a result of sporting activity), or spontaneously (as in some cases of osteochondritis dissecans). Symptoms associated with the loss of hyaline cartilage include knee pain, knee swelling and knee locking. Epidemiological studies show a relationship between knee injury and later development of osteoarthritis.
Arthroscopic lavage and debridement of injured synovial joints is first line treatment of chondral lesions. When this fails to relieve symptoms, additional procedures which aim to fill the cartilage defect are considered.
These can be categorised as:
- stimulation of repair by methods that allow entry of marrow cells into the cartilage defect (predominantly microfracture).
- direct replacement of cartilage, either by:
- mosaicplasty which requires use of autografts taken from a non-injured area to fill the defect; and
- Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (including Matrix-Induced Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation) which requires culturing chondrocytes obtained from a biopsy of normal cartilage and implanting them into the defect with the aim of the chondrocytes synthesising cartilage to repair the defect.
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Previous Application NumberNot Applicable
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