BioCartilage: Cartilage Transplant for Osteochondral Lesion Treatment

Updated 12/21/2017
BioCartialge for Talar Dome Lesion, Cartilage Transplant

BioCartilage is a new product that is revolutionizing the surgical repair of osteochondral lesion. With BioCartilage, the ankle joint heals stronger and more quickly than with traditional methods, reducing the chance of re-injury.

 

The physicians at University Foot and Ankle Institute are nationally recognized experts in the treatment of cartilage damage and osteochondral defects.

 

Our doctors have decades of combined experience and are often called upon to train other foot and ankle surgeons on the advanced treatments available at UFAI.

Osteochondral Defects Explained

Your ankle joint is the meeting of the bottom of the shin bone (tibia) and the top of the ankle bone (talus). The top of the ankle bone is rounded and coated with cartilage – the tough, flexible connective tissue that absorbs shock and facilitates motion in the joints.

 

An osteochondral defect, also known as a Talar dome lesion, is a spot where the cartilage has been damaged or worn through. Osteochondral lesions most often result from an injury, such as a sprain. If the lesion doesn’t heal correctly, the cartilage can break down and sometimes, a fragment of cartilage can break away and “float” nearby.

 

An osteochondral lesion can cause chronic pain, clicking or locking sensations in the ankle, and swelling during weight bearing activities.

 

What is BioCartilage?

BioCartilage is a state-of-the-art treatment of cartilage damage. It is a substance that has been developed from donor cartilage to contain the essential components of joint cartilage, including natural growth factors that stimulate growth and healing in the cartilaginous cells.

 

How does Cartilage Transplant Improve Osteochondral Lesion Treatment?

In a traditional osteochondral lesion repair procedure, the surgeon had to drill holes in the cartilage and completely remove the damaged tissue. This causes the area to bleed, and in its place the body grows fibrocartilage. Fibrocartilage is the scar tissue of cartilage – it’s weaker and less dense than regular, healthy cartilage. The surgeon could supplement the healing cartilage by inserting a cartilage plug, but this can be risky. Cartilage cells could also be injected into the area, although this technique is quite expensive.

 

BioCartilage for osteochondral lesion, Cartialge Transplant

What makes BioCartilage a preferred, and more successful, treatment is that it acts as a scaffold to encourage the growth of regular cartilage. It provides structural support to the proliferating cells and helps the cells interact with each other to grow stronger than fibrocartilaginous scar tissue.

 

With this cartilage transplant, the ankle joint heals more quickly and stronger, and BioCartilage is a relatively inexpensive choice compared to other options.

 

Recovery from Osteochondral Lesion Repair with BioCartilage

After an Osteochondral Lesion repair, patients can expect to spend about 2-4 weeks in a cast. They may be fitted with a boot and begin physical therapy after 4 weeks, and expect to bear weight around 6 weeks. BioCartilage reduces the risk of re-injury because the healed cartilage surface is stronger than fibrocartilage scar tissue. The repair will last longer and will cause less pain in the long term than repairs through traditional methods.

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