Can You Benefit from Cartilage Replacement?

An injury to the knee can be debilitating and the road to recovery long. Certain injuries may compromise cartilage, which can cause chronic pain and limited range of movement. When weighing your care and treatment, make sure to speak with San Francisco Bay Area knee and shoulder injury specialist, Dr. Jeffrey Halbrecht to uncover, inform, and understand your distinct options.

Who needs cartilage replacement?
Cartilage injuries commonly strike the hip, shoulder, elbow, and ankle, but perhaps most often impact the knee. These injuries generally occur from trauma, such as an accident or sports-related activity. Your surgeon and provider will be able to determine if cartilage replacement is a viable alternative to the more-invasive knee replacements, ensuring a faster recovery time and rehabilitation.

What is the most-common demographic?
Cartilage replacement is a viable option for patients, typically aged 16-55. The highest rates of success come from instances of isolated injuries in the articular cartilage, usually to the knee joint or femur. Your primary doctor will be able to make a referral to  a knee injury specialist for you, as needed.

What can the patient expect?
Think of cartilage replacement (the MACI Procedure) as a two-part process: the first part involves removal of cells and is done in an outpatient setting often under local anesthesia. The second part involves surgical re-implantation of the cells into the knee, which usually occurs four-weeks later. Recovery can take up to one year.

What’s the prognosis?
Cartilage specialist in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dr. Halbrecht says the prognosis of those undergoing cartilage replacement is excellent, typically providing a 90% chance of success among patient with isolated articular cartilage injuries of the femur. This is good news for patients suffering with knee injuries and pain, as this could prove a less-invasive procedure which shortens recovery time significantly.

What about after-care?
As with any medical procedure, there are recommendations pertaining to after-care. Typically, patients are restricted from motion for two-weeks following their replacement; these individuals will also be restricted in weight-bearing for at least six-weeks. A rigorous treatment plan involving physical therapy will likely be ordered, which may involve gradual strength-building and resistance-type exercises. Generally, patients can return to full-activity within one year of their procedure. A cartilage transplantation doctor in San Francisco will help guide you through your treatment process.

Can you – or someone you love—benefit from cartilage replacement?

Contact the cartilage specialist in San Francisco, Dr. Jeffrey Halbrecht, to schedule a consultation today. Stop living with the pain and uncertainty of knee injury and discuss your options with our caring team.