About joint preservation
Joint preservation techniques are used to repair damaged joints and delay the need for joint replacement surgery. Among the surgical joint preservation procedures are:
- Knee osteotomy – this is a surgical procedure for patients who have osteoarthritis in just one of the knee compartments. It can help to relieve pain and increase movement in the knee.
- Cartilage transplant – cartilage grown in the laboratory is used to replace damaged cartilage or the bones are stimulated to promote cartilage growth.
- Microfracture – using arthroscopy, multiple holes are made in the bone, around 4mm apart. Bone marrow cells and blood then covers the area helping to promote the growth of new tissue.
- Autologous osteochondral transfer – this involves harvesting bone and cartilage from parts of the knee that bear less weight and transferring this to the damaged area.
- Autologous chondrocyte implantation – a small piece of articular cartilage is harvested from the patient’s knee and sent to the laboratory to be treated with enzymes to isolate the chondrocytes, which are cells that produce cartilage. These are multiplied and implanted into the patient’s body six to eight weeks later.
There are several non-surgical procedures for relieving pain, including:
- Corticosteroid injections
- Injections of hyaluronic acid
- Platelet-rich plasma injections