- How is the cartilage?
- Cartilage, a special texture that covers the surface of all joints, which has a very delicate structure. It does not contain nerve, blood and lymph circulation, it provides its nutrition from bone and joint fluid. For this reason, it is both a difficult and a long process to recover when damaged.
- It is essential to maintain joint health and continuity, especially in young patients. Otherwise, the problem may progress to joint calcification.
- How do cartilage injuries occur?
- Cartilage injuries usually occur as a result of blows and are most common in the knee joint. Cartilage problems may also occur as a result of fractures and dislocations. Osteochondritis dissecans disease, which occurs as a result of feeding the bone under the cartilage, also causes damage to the cartilage.
- What are the symptoms?
- The most important symptom of cartilage injuries is pain in the area where the problem occurs. The patient feels pain during activity and even at rest. Apart from pain, complaints such as limitation of movement, stuck and compression in the joint also indicate cartilage injuries.
- How is it diagnosed?
- First of all, the physician listens to the patient how the complaints occur. After the examination, he / she may request X-ray, MRI and arthrography examinations.
- How is it treated?
- It is very important to prevent damage to the cartilage before it progresses. An intervention while the damage is manageable and treatable will make a unique contribution to joint health. The health and vitality of the bone on which it is located is as important as the cartilage itself.
- Especially the cartilages of the ankle, knee, hip and shoulder joints take a large place in orthopedic surgery practice. The treatment plan changes according to the width and depth of cartilage damage in these areas. Obtaining stem cells in small defects, like micro- fractures or nano-fractures, opening of small holes from the bone to the joint are usually sufficient. In case of large defects, a method called mosaicplasty is the placement of synthetic cartilage scaffolds or a piece of cartilage from another part of the body to the damaged area. In such treatments, the injection of stem cells obtained by special methods can contribute to the quality of the repaired cartilage tissue. For larger defects, a two-step procedure (ACI, MACI) can be performed. It includes the procedure of producing the patient's own cartilage in the external environment and placing it back into the patient. With this technique, the repaired cartilage tissue should be with a very high quality and the symptoms felt by the patient can be kept at a minimum. In the presence of larger and deeper cartilage and bone damage, the method called allograft is performed by cutting the pieces taken from the cadaver according to the damaged area and placing them in the area.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mesut TAHTA
Orthopedics and Traumatology