Hyaline articular cartilage is a firm and durable tissue. Cartilage covers the ends of bones in joints and enables the bones to move smoothly over one another. Therefore, healthy cartilage is crucial to the smooth and painless mobility of most joints, including the knee.
Cartilage damage can be caused by athletic activity, traumatic injury, and even daily wear and tear. Injuries to the articular cartilage of the knee can take the form of lesions, which are like potholes in the cartilage. Symptoms of an injury can include aching, pain, swelling, locking, catching and giving way.
Damaged cartilage has limited capacity to repair or restore itself. If untreated, the damage may progressively worsen and may lead to chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis.
Current treatment options
Despite the availability of a range of procedures and treatments, patients are often left searching for new options due to incomplete recovery or limited duration of effect. Microfracture is commonly performed and is considered the current standard of care for most cases of severe cartilage injury in the knee. Microfracture works by creating tiny holes, or “fractures,” in the bone underneath the injured cartilage, leading to formation of a blood clot in the affected area. The blood and bone marrow that seep out to form the clot contain stem cells, which are thought to grow into cartilage-building cells. Although symptoms may improve for a period of time after the surgery, microfracture has been unsuccessful in reliably solving the underlying problem of the injured cartilage. In most cases, the repair tissue formed by the procedure is not the same healthy joint cartilage that joints require to withstand the normal forces of movement and weightbearing.
Made from a patient’s own cells, NeoCart® is an investigational cartilage tissue implant to treat knee cartilage injuries. Learn more about NeoCart and its potential benefits to people suffering from cartilage injury in the knee.
Caution: New Biologic. Limited by Federal law to investigational use only and is not available for sale.