New frontiers in articular cartilage injury

      Instructional course 206 covers the various approaches to articular cartilage injury currently in use and offers some insight into what the future might hold. The participants address different elements of the same issue. In the past the therapies available for full thickness articular cartilage lesions on the weight bearing surfaces of the knee included arthroscopic debridement of the lesion, abrasion arthroplasty, attempts at fragment reattachment, and the placement of holes into the subchondral bone. Whether these holes were created by a drill or a pick (microfracture) the result was a fibrocartilage patch and the clinical results were improvement in 75% at 3 to 5 years. No type 3 cartilage was produced and these techniques do not prevent degenerative joint disease in the long term.
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