The benefits of knee cartilage replacement nclude reduced pain, renewed function and possible elimination of the need for a total arthroplasty, according to Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute. Replacement is a popular alternative to shaving away damaged cushioning in the joint.
Cartilage damage results from causes like direct impact or twisting of the joint and ligament injuries that loosen or destabilize the knee, notes Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute. When a knee has poor alignment, the cartilage suffers the extra pressure. Cartilage damage can cause significant pain and limit daily activities, such as walking.
Cartilage damage takes place in other joints as well but is most commonly observed in the knee, reports Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute. Cartilage therapy takes place using open or arthroscopic procedures. Arthroscopic procedures work through small incisions and replace damaged cartilage with healthy tissue from other parts in the knee or with cartilage from donors. Therapy is also available to encourage regeneration of knee cartilage with the patient's own cartilage cells.
Patients have to go back to normal activity levels gradually after cartilage replacement surgery, states Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute. The recovery period includes significant amounts of necessary physical therapy.