Osteoarthritis is medical condition that affectsmillions of people in the world. The most common part of the body affected bythis condition is the knee joint, but osteoarthritis can cause problems withthe hips and shoulders as well. Statistic data revealed that more than 15millions of people are suffering from the knee joint problems caused by osteoarthritis.
In most joints in the human body there is cartilageconnective tissue. This tissue is responsible for the prevention of injuriesand damage to the joints, because it can absorb some of the shock and thusprotect the joint. If we want to move normally, joints need to be lubricated. That’swhere connective tissue also plays the role. Being 85% water connective tissue ensureslubrication of the joints. Cartilage degeneration is usually caused by aging. Naturalwear and tear of the joints may lead to several changes and damage the jointsin the body. Aging is proved to cause decrease in water content of theconnective tissue of the joints. The body tries to compensate the problem byproducing specialized cells known as fibrocartilage cells. They are located inthe sockets of the joints and should be able to do something about the loss ofwater. However, they can’t perform their task so these patients experienceintense pain with every movement they make.
How to Regenerate Cartilage?
Many scientists and doctors tried to reverse the effects ofthis condition and to regenerate affected cartilage. Nevertheless, these techniquesstill have to be improved and perfected. Knee cartilage regeneration is one ofthe most researched these days and following techniques may resolve some of theproblems patients may have when osteoarthritis affects their knees.
Autologous chondrocyte implantation uses a small part of thehealthy cartilage from the body. After the extraction, the culture is grown inthe laboratory and then implanted inside the joint damaged by osteoarthritis.
Debridement or abrasion is surgical procedure which involvesremoval of the loose cartilage. As the consequence of the procedure,fibrocartilage cells should be encouraged to grow but this new tissue might notbe strong enough to carry the body or to absorb the shock.
Microfracture is arthroscopic procedure and the surgeonremoves part of the cartilage affected by osteoarthritis. At the same time, heor she makes perforations on the surface of the bone in order to stimulate the bloodflow and the growth of fibrocartilage cells in the joints.
Mosaicplasty or osteochondral autograft transplantationsurgery includes surgical removal of the plug of bone covering a cartilage fromhealthy part of the body to damaged cartilage.
Osteochondral allograft technique is very similar technique tomosaicplasty, but the bone graft comes from the donor and not from the person themselves.Since the donor is another person, this surgery is faced with possiblerejection of the foreign tissue.
Periosteal flap technique uses periosteum from shin andtransplants it to the part of the cartilage affected by osteoarthritis.