Dr. Lonnie Paulos is one of the leading orthopedic surgeons in this country. With over 30 years of experience, he specializes in treating cartilage damage to the knee. He will carefully determine and correct the underlying causes of the damage, often ranging from isolated cartilage defects to advanced arthritis to damage such as malalignment, ligament instability, and loss of meniscal function.
A severe knee cartilage injury can radically change your lifestyle. Symptoms such as locking, catching, localized pain, and swelling often affect your ability to work, play, or even perform normal activities. Normal knee function requires a smooth gliding articular cartilage surface on the ends of the bones. This surface is composed of a thin layer of slippery, tough tissue called hyaline cartilage.
A cartilage lesion appears as a hole or divot in the cartilage surface. Since cartilage has minimal ability to repair itself, even what may seem like a small lesion, if left untreated, can hinder your ability to move free from pain, and cause deterioration to the joint surface.
Although cartilage in unable to repair itself on its own, advanced FDA-approved technology allows cartilage cells, known as chondrocytes, to be harvested from your knee, cultured, and multiplied in the lab. The fresh chondrocytes are then reimplanted in your knee and cause hyaline cartilage to regenerate. This biological repair is known as ACI (Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation). When you successfully complete ACI and rehabilitation, you should be able to resume all normal activities, including sports.
To derive maximum benefit from ACI, you should adhere strictly to the personalized rehabilitation plan recommended by Dr. Paulos. This will include progressive weight-bearing, range of motion, and muscle strengthening exercises which may begin as early as the day after surgery.
If you would like to discuss your knee pain with Dr. Paulos, please call our office today so we can make an appointment for an examination.