Cartilage Restoration Treatments in NJ

What is Cartilage Restoration?

Cartilage Restoration is an innovative surgical procedure which regenerates, repairs, or restores damaged joint cartilage. It is an alternative to surgical joint replacement and tries to repair and restore the cartilage so that joint replacement surgery can be avoided.

Cartilage is a flexible yet firm white tissue which covers the surfaces of bones where they come together to form a joint. Cartilage makes the surface of the bones smooth so that they can move against each other smoothly. However, the cartilage can get damaged by wear and tear or through a trauma.

Athletes who make repetitive use of their joints are prone to wear and tear of articulating cartilage. Similarly, individuals who have arthritis also experience cartilage damage. Before, cartilage restoration, these individuals had to undergo a joint replacement surgery if non-invasive treatments failed to relieve their symptoms.

In most cases, cartilage damage is irreversible and requires life-long care. In extreme cases, cartilage damage can hinder movement and cause intense pain. A person may become temporarily disabled because they cannot utilize the full movement of their body because of the pain from cartilage damage.

Cartilage Restoration is an effective treatment which overcomes these challenges. It aims to:

  • Reduce and alleviate pain and other symptoms of cartilage damage
  • Stimulate the growth of new cartilage
  • Delay and prevent the onset of arthritis

Who Needs Cartilage Restoration?

The eligibility of a patient for Cartilage Restoration procedure is determined after considering the following factors:

  • The patient is suffering from articulating cartilage damage in the knee, ankle, or shoulder.
  • The patient has tried non-invasive treatments for cartilage damage. The non-invasive treatments have failed to restrain the damage, and there is a threat that the entire cartilage will be affected.
  • The patient is less than 50 years of age.
  • The patient has an active lifestyle.
  • The patient has a single injury or lesion in the articulating cartilage. A single injury means that cartilage damage is focused on one area, not the entire cartilage.
  • Patients who have chronic conditions like bone-on-bone osteoarthritis are not eligible for the condition.
A knee structure ellaboration

How is Cartilage Restoration Performed?

Cartilage Restoration is of two types:

  • Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation
  • Osteochondral Transplant


Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (ACI) for Cartilage Restoration

The ACI cartilage restoration surgery is an innovative and relatively new two-step process which targets cartilage damage of full-thickness (down to the bone) over a large area. This cartilage restoration procedure requires two surgeries:

  • Arthroscopic surgery to harvest healthy cartilage tissue
  • Open surgery to implant the healthy tissue in the damaged area

The first surgery is performed arthroscopically to harvest healthy cartilage tissues from an area of the knee, which is not essential to the primary functions of the knee. The arthroscopic procedure is performed under general anaesthesia. The surgeon harvests a small piece of the cartilage, around 2-3 cm.

The harvested tissue is sent to the laboratory where it is treated enzymatically to isolate the cells which produce cartilage (chondrocytes). Once the cells are isolated, they are artificially expanded in the laboratory and sent back to the surgeon. This process can take 6-8 weeks.

Once the surgeon receives the expanded chondrocytes, the second step of the cartilage restoration surgery is scheduled. An anaesthesiologist administers general anaesthesia to the patient. The surgeon sews a special patch or watertight membrane over the damaged cartilage in the joint.

The surgeon injects the harvested healthy cells of the cartilage into the damaged area, where they adhere to the bone and the existing cartilage to form hyaline-like cartilage.

The cartilage producing cells start making new cartilage in the joint, which functions as the native cartilage. It provides cushioning to the bones where they meet each other to form a joint. It allows them to glide over each other smoothly, reducing pain and discomfort and increase movement.

After the ACI Cartilage Restoration surgery, a patient must limit their movement for at least eight weeks. The surgeon will recommend the following steps for a speedy recovery:

  • Physical therapy to restore strength and range of motion
  • Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) machine to improve the probability of the graft’s success.
  • Start light exercises 6 months after the surgery
  • Return to full sporting activity or strenuous movements after 9-12 months of surgery

Osteochondral Transplant for Cartilage Restoration  h4

An Osteochondral Transplant is another method of cartilage restoration surgery in which a plug of bone with overlying articular cartilage are grafted to replace damaged cartilage and bone.

A surgeon recommends the Osteochondral Transplant cartilage restoration surgery when all other procedures have failed, or the damage is too severe to be healed by other procedures.

Osteochondral Transplant cartilage restoration procedure also has two steps: harvesting healthy bone with cartilage and implanting the graft in the damaged area.

The surgeon may procure a healthy bone plug with healthy cartilage from the patient, such a part of articular cartilage and bone, which bears no or minimal weight. The surgeon may also harvest the bone from a cadaver or a donor.

After the harvest, an open surgical procedure is performed to remove the damaged bone and cartilage and replace it with the healthy bone and cartilage. The implant is adhered to the existing joint bone using the press-fit technique.

If the graft is successful, the implanted bone piece will join with the existing bone. Weight-bearing activities are restricted for 6-8 eight weeks after the surgery to give the graft the maximum chance of merging with the existing bone successfully.

The Osteochondral Transplant for Cartilage Restoration restores the hyaline articular cartilage of joints. It alleviates pain and swelling associated with damaged articular cartilage and returns the normal function of joints.


How to Restore Cartilage in Your Knee?

Commonly, a Cartilage Restoration surgery is performed for cartilage damage in the knee. However, it can be successfully performed for other joints of the body, such as the ankle and shoulder.

The cartilage restoration surgery knee procedure is successful in restoring hyaline articular cartilage to the knee joint. A patient can expect complete recovery 9-12 months after a cartilage restoration procedure is performed on the knee.


Cartilage Restoration Surgery NJ

Complete Medical Wellness Center (CMW) has a state-of-the-art cartilage restoration center in NJ. Our facility is equipped with the latest technology in orthopedic surgeries, and our surgeons have experience in performing cartilage restoration surgeries successfully.

At CMW, you will receive:

  • A careful examination and diagnosis.
  • An empathetic patient care.
  • Attentive staff.
  • Qualified surgeons.
  • State of the art facility.
  • Observant post-op care.

CMW’s cartilage restoration center in NJ is a reliable source of effective cartilage restoration surgery.


To move is to live. Restore your ability to move today. Call CMW.