Knee Surgery: Removal of Damaged Cartilage

Knee Surgery

Knee cartilage may suffer damage due to injury, overuse or a degenerative condition such as knee arthritis. Once all the non-surgical treatment options are exhausted, the patient may have to choose knee surgery to remove the damaged cartilage, and restore healthy function of the knee.

Board certified orthopedic surgeons at the Thomas & Bigler Knee & Shoulder Institute provide knee surgery for the removal of damaged cartilage to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada, and other communities and suburbs of the largest city in Nevada.

Arthroscopy to Remove Articular Cartilage in the Knee

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery to remove articular cartilage in the knee. Articular cartilage is a rubbery, firm tissue that covers the bone extremities. It facilitates a smooth gliding surface for the joints and provides a cushioning effect between bones. This cartilage in the knee may get damaged due to injury or overuse, which can result in pain, swelling and other problems with the knee joint.

Arthroscopic procedure to remove the damaged cartilage may be chosen by the surgeon, depending on the extent of damage involved. If removal is necessary, the surgeon may also decide to scrape or bur the exposed bone in order support healing in the injured area.

In some cases, articular cartilage microfracture procedure may be performed to mitigate knee pain and promote healing. This is a minimally invasive process involving drilling of tiny holes into the bone under the articular cartilage to support healing.

Cartilage transplantation autograft procedure may be performed in some cases where the specific cartilage damage has occurred due to an injury. However, if the cartilage loss is extensive, this procedure will not be applied.

Damaged Patellar Cartilage Removal

The patella, commonly known as the kneecap, is a flat bone in a triangular shape that provides protection to the knee joint and allows the muscles to move the leg more efficiently. A healthy patella glides up and down a groove at the femur bone’s end. Pain may occur when the patella moves due to a variety of conditions.

If the patellar cartilage has been significantly damaged, the surgeon may decide to remove it from the knee. In this procedure, the surgeon will insert a tiny scope through a small incision in the knee, and then use special instruments to remove the damaged cartilage. Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven Thomas and Dr. Gregory Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada, and nearby areas for knee cartilage removal procedures.

Current Research

According to researchers, articular cartilage knee injuries are quite common, and difficult to treat. Cartilage lesions can worsen over time, and their surgical removal may be necessary. However, new research suggests that a natural tissue graft can trigger regeneration of the damaged cartilage and improve symptoms in patients suffering from knee cartilage damage.
The new procedure called “De Novo NT” has shown encouraging results and compares favorably to the existing techniques because it is easier to perform and involves just a one-step procedure. While this technique clearly regenerates tissue, further follow-up is required before the treatment’s benefits are clearly established at a universal level.

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. call (702) 933-9393; Physical Therapy (702) 933-9393.

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