What Makes Yale Medicine’s Approach To Articular Cartilage Injuries Unique
Our experienced providers will assess your condition and help you make an informed decision, says Dr. Allen. Our Sports Medicine surgeons are fellowship-trained and have expertise in meniscus transplant, osteochondral autograft and allograft procedures, and 2nd and 3rd generation cartilage restoration procedures.
Prp And Stem Cell Therapy
All of the above methods for cartilage repair not ideal, in that they have a limited list of potential candidates. Even then, results are mixed.
But two options that are showing promise for successful treatment of cartilage injuries are platelet-rich plasma and stem cell therapies. These therapies to use the bodys own immune system to prompt cartilage to heal and regrow itself in a way it might not otherwise do.
Osteoarticular Transfer System Procedure
The OATS procedure, also called mosaicplasty, involves taking healthy cartilage from non-weight-bearing areas of the joint and transplanting it into the damaged areas. Because the transfer happens within the same joint, this procedure works best for small areas of damaged cartilage. Joints significantly affected by osteoarthritis may require a different approach. Since your own tissue is used, the OATS procedure eliminates risks related to allergy or transplant rejection.
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Cartilage Repair And Transplantation
Articular Cartilage is the white tissue lining the end of bones where these bones connect to form joints. Cartilage acts as cushioning material and helps in smooth gliding of bones during movement. An injury to the joint may damage this cartilage which cannot repair on its own. Cartilage can be damaged with increasing age, normal wear and tear, or trauma. Damaged cartilage cannot cushion the joints during movement and the joints may rub over each other causing severe pain and inflammation.
Cartilage restoration is a surgical procedure where orthopaedic surgeons stimulate the growth of new cartilage that restores the normal function. Arthritis condition can be delayed or prevented through this procedure.
Several techniques are employed for cartilage restoration including dietary supplements, microfracture, drilling, abrasion arthroplasty, osteochondral autograft, and allograft transplantation.
Microfracture: In this method numerous holes are created in the injured joint surface using a sharp tool. This procedure stimulates healing response by creating new blood supply. Blood supply results in growth of new cartilage.
Drilling: In this method a drilling instrument is used to create holes in the injured joint surface. Drilling holes creates blood supply and stimulate growth of new cartilage. Although the method is similar to microfracture, it is less precise and the heat produced during drilling may damage other tissues.
Wear And Tear Due To Joint Conditions
In the human body, the most common disease of the cartilage which is also the most common form of joint disease isosteoarthritis.
This condition causes destruction and reduction of cartilage mass in a wear-and-tear fashion.
When cartilage is worn out, the bones that meet at a joint start rubbing against each other because the element that was once reducing friction has now been eliminated.
The pain that results from this process is often excruciating.
Besides this, there are over 100 forms of joint diseases that can cause the amount of cartilage to decrease.
They are collectively known as arthritis and include rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, gout, and more.
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Collagen For Knee Cartilage Healing
Do collagen supplements work to rebuild knee cartilage? The answer in short is, yes. Collagen is primarily found in various types of connective tissues around your knees such as cartilage, ligaments, tendons and bones. Collagen is one of the most important components which can contribute to cartilage repair and collagen can also stimulate cartilage regrowth. Collagen plays a vital role in supporting the growth and repair cartilage tissue over time as well as relieve joint inflammation and joint pain. Research has shown that Type 2 collagen is commonly found in knee joints, which are doing weight-bearing for your body but suffered from wear-and-tear during exercise.
Foods That Help Regenerate Cartilage
To encourage better knee health, it’s important to minimize the rate of cartilage deterioration and take the steps needed for cartilage repair. Fisher-Titus Medical Center points out that consuming certain foods is a step in the right direction. On top of that, it supports your transition to a healthier lifestyle.
Examples of knee cartilage repair food include oily fish, such as sardines and salmon. Consuming these healthy proteins may help decrease joint pain and general morning stiffness due to the omega-3 fatty acids in fish. If you find it difficult to eat the recommended two weekly servings, consider taking omega-3 or krill oil supplements.
Add generous servings of antioxidant-rich vegetables like broccoli, spinach, spring greens and parsley to your diet. These leafy veggies may help slow the rate of cartilage deterioration.
Next, chop up some onions and garlic. Onions contain quercetin, an inflammation-reducing antioxidant. Garlic is rich in allicin, a compound that can provide some relief for rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
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Vitamin D And Osteoarthritis
Vitamin D is crucial for the development and maintenance of healthy bones. Adequate amounts enable proper absorption of calcium, which is necessary to support the structure and function of bones and teeth. It may also play a role in the prevention and treatment of cartilage deterioration, although using vitamin D for joint pain is unlikely to have immediate or verifiable results.
According to authors of a research review published in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine in June 2017, vitamin D levels play a role in the development and progression of osteoarthritis. Their findings show that people with osteoarthritis typically have low levels of the nutrient, while individuals with sufficient blood levels have a lower risk of developing the condition and the associated cartilage degeneration.
The recommended daily intake for vitamin D is 600 international units for all adults. NIH reports that there are few dietary sources of vitamin D, which can make it difficult to get adequate amounts through diet alone. Your body can synthesize vitamin D from reactions within the skin when exposed to UVB rays from the sun. But due to widespread sunscreen use and less time outdoors, many people arent meeting the requirement.
You can increase your vitamin D stores by eating more fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, and fortified milk, juice and cereal. If you think you are not meeting your vitamin D needs, speak with your doctor about whether you need a supplement.
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What Causes Cartilage Loss In Your Joint
To fully understand why cartilage loss can be such an issue, you first have to understand why its important. Cartilage is the tissue that covers the ends of your bones where they meet together in your joint. It allows the bones to glide over each other smoothly and fluidly.
If your cartilage has worn away, your bones wont be able to move as smoothly and in severe cases can cause bone on bone friction and intense pain. This may also cause you to have swelling, stiffness, or grinding in your joint. There are three main reasons that you may experience loss of cartilage, including:
Stages Of Cartilage Damage
- Stages I and II of cartilage damage are early stages. Once cartilage gets damaged, in its place fibrous cartilage is formed which has very poor mechanical strength.
- Presence of fibrous cartilage makes the joint susceptible to further injuries and it becomes very difficult to carry out normal activities like walking, running, yoga and sports. Reduced physical activity will lead to diseases associated with sedentary lifestyle such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension and cardiovascular disorders.
- A stage IV arthritic joint needs to be replaced by Total Knee Replacement Surgery.
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How Is Damaged Cartilage Regenerated
Cartilage is regenerated according to what food you eat. One of the other most common conditions that affects the ankle, knee, wrist, elbow, and shoulder cartilage is arthritis, currently a very well-known disease that affects almost everyone older than forty.
For this reason, it is necessary to have proper nutrition so that cartilage tissue can regenerate quickly.
One of the most important amino acids for the rapid regeneration of damaged cartilage is lysine. It is responsible for absorbing calcium and producing collagen that rebuilds damaged tissue. It also improves appearance of your skin and strength of your tendons.
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What Causes Hyaline Cartilage To Have A Glassy Appearance
This type of cartilage has a glassy appearance when fresh, hence its name, as hyalos is greek for glassy. It looks slightly basophilic overall in H& E sections. Hyaline cartilage has widely dispersed fine collagen fibres , which strengthen it. The collagen fibres are hard to see in sections.
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What Types Of Treatments Can Restore Knee Cartilage
While damaged knee cartilage used to mean joint replacement surgery, now there are cartilage repair techniques designed to replace damaged cartilage. Other techniques are aimed at promoting cartilage regeneration in an area thats been damaged. Dr. Van Thiel has extensive experience in a wide variety of cartilage repair and regeneration techniques.
Stem cell treatment is emerging as a very good option in some patients. This treatment uses a patients own stem cells harvested from their bone marrow. The cells are programmed to form new, healthy cartilage cells to replace damaged cartilage. Recent studies have explored taking cells derived from facial cartilage to encourage growth. Two independent studies demonstrated that facial cartilage shows more effective repair than cartilage taken from limbs. Studies into stem cell regeneration therapy is still ongoing, but shows great promise for future treatment options.
Eat Fruits Nuts And Dairy
Fisher-Titus Medical Center also recommends that your knee cartilage repair food plan includes creamy avocados. These tasty fruits are loaded with essential fatty acids and antioxidant-rich oils, both of which help combat joint inflammation and facilitate cartilage repair. Osteoarthritis patients might find this versatile fruit especially helpful.
Beneficial fruits also include grapefruit, which is rich in bioflavonoids and vitamin C. These nutrients team up to strengthen cartilage and fight inflammation. Choose red grapefruit as it contains more antioxidants compared to the yellow variety. These refreshing fruits are also foods good for the joints and cartilage.
Compact little berries pack a big antioxidant punch too. Raspberries, cherries and elderberries contain anthocyanins that help knock down various chemicals associated with inflammation. If you suffer from gout, consider noshing on black cherries, which may help prevent that painful condition.
Add more anti-inflammatory foods, such as extra-virgin olive oil and walnuts, to your meal plan. Brazil nuts are packed with selenium, a mineral that may improve the quality of cartilage protein. Yogurt and kefir are rich in probiotics that may help relieve rheumatoid arthritis joint inflammation.
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Fiber: The Solution On Your Plate
High Fiber Foods and Their Benefits by Urbanwired1 Flickr
The key to alleviating and even avoiding knee pain might be closer than you think! Just look down at your plate. Are you eating enough fiber?
New research in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases has shown that people with fiber-rich diets have a reduced risk of knee osteoarthritis. This is huge, as two separate studies consistently showed that higher total fiber intake was related to lower risk, with statistically significant results!
The first study, Osteoarthritis Initiative, examined nearly 5,000 participants and the second study, the Framingham Offspring, examined more than 1,200. Both studies concluded that the more fiber you eat, the less likely you are to experience knee pain, and the less likely you are to be diagnosed with knee arthritis.
Keep in mind that correlation does not imply causation, and the studies did not prove that fiber heals knee pain, only that something is going on with the nutrients that are almost certainly good for you.
Will Cartilage Grow Back
Research on joint cartilage has been extensive. For decades, researchers have been able to successfully regrow cartilage in the laboratory. However, it has been far more challenging transferring these techniques to actual living joints.
One procedure, called microfracture surgery, involves drilling small holes in the bone directly underlying joint cartilage. This creates a super clot of blood and stem cells in the area, with the goal of triggering cartilage regrowth.
Results have been mixed, and any positive results seem short-lived. In the best cases, theres some cartilage regrowth, but there is often accompanying bone regrowth that complicates matters. Furthermore, the cartilage is often fibrous cartilage instead of the hyaline cartilage that normally grows on joint surfaces.
Another procedure utilizes the same microfracture surgery followed by a procedure to glue” a hydrogel-like scaffolding to the joint surface. The results appear to be better than microfracture surgery alone. With just the microfracture surgery, the initial pain reduction patients experience lasts only about three months. Those who have received the gel scaffolding reported less pain even at six months.
But heres the good news: New research confirms we do have the ability to restore cartilage in our joints!
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Why Choose Johns Hopkins
- Our team includes experts with years of experience in cartilage regeneration surgery a complex set of procedures who specialize in minimally invasive approaches.
- Our orthopaedic surgeons at Sibley Memorial Hospital approach cartilage regeneration surgery with cutting-edge technology, incorporating the latest methods into their practice.
- Not everyone is a good candidate for cartilage regeneration. These procedures are ideal for active people under age 55. Our experienced team will assess your condition and help you make an informed decision.
Can Your Cartilage Repair Itself
Our ability to heal and regenerate new tissues and cells is one of the amazing aspects of being a human. So, its natural to be curious if our cartilage can do the same and regenerate on its own. Learn more about your joint health as you discover more about the binding substance that is key in your overall mobility the cartilage.
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Q: Can Cartilage Repair Itself
A: Though it is made of cells and tissues, cartilage cannot repair itself due to the lack of blood vessels and enough blood supply to create and duplicate new cells. Some cartilage cells may be able to repair microscopic lacerations or tears but it will be difficult to recover from the wear and tear of excessive use over time.
Build Knee Cartilage Naturally
If you’re searching for ways to reduce your knee discomfort, Dr. Lars Richardson, an orthopedic surgeon with Harvard Medical School-linked Massachusetts General Hospital, describes a three-part strategy that may help.
First, he recommends that you drop some weight. If you’re packing some extra pounds, each added pound means you’re exerting four pounds of pressure on the joints.
To accomplish that goal, follow a well-balanced diet that includes foods good for the joints and cartilage. Engage in low-impact exercise regularly. After you lose those pesky pounds, your joints will experience decreased pressure and pain. Dr. Richardson notes that when your body mass index reaches a healthy range, your knees should feel the benefits.
Next, partner up with a physical therapist to develop a muscle-strengthening program that results in better knee function. Target your body’s core muscles along with the hip, quadriceps and hamstrings. With stronger muscles supporting your knees, they won’t feel as much stress, and your knee joint will be better stabilized.
Work with your physical therapist to improve your knee’s range of motion. By working to straighten your knee and achieving better overall motion, you’re likely to experience fewer troublesome symptoms, Dr. Richardson points out.
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Glucosamine And Chondroitin Supplements
These are two compounds naturally produced in huge amounts in the body. The deficiency of these two compounds may cause unforeseeable wear and tear of the knee cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and the synovial fluid. As we age, the production of these two compounds decreases.
But then again, these two are the building blocks involved in the synthesis of proteoglycan, a complex protein-carbohydrate-hydroxyl that makes up the cartilage. If these two compounds are lurking or are in short supply, knee cartilage health will be affected. Fortunately, there are some nutritional supplements that include glucosamine and chondroitin as their active ingredients to improve cartilage and joint health. Heres what they do in a nutshell.
Foods To Increase Lubrication In The Knees
To help increase lubrication in the knees through nutrition, there are several foods to consider adding as a part of your healthy and well-balanced diet.
Some of these foods include salmon, trout, olive oil, nuts, avocados are all high in omega-3s. When you combine these foods with glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin, they can all work together to help increase lubrication while also decreasing inflammation. All of this will work wonders when it comes to pain relief as well.
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