Cartilage Repair & Restoration Program
The treatment of cartilage injuries remains one of the most difficult challenges in medicine. The Cartilage Repair & Restoration Program brings together world-renowned scientists and physicians to meet this challenge. Our team is dedicated to providing patients with the most advanced and effective treatments for knee meniscus and articular cartilage injuries of the knee and elbow. Our research helps shape the future of cartilage repair and regeneration, with the hope that our patients will benefit from it.
We offer the best possible current technology and expertise to enable patients to have a successful return to normal activities.
There are two types of cartilage in the body—the meniscus cartilage (the most common example is the shock absorbers of the knee) and articular cartilage, which covers the bones in joints like the knee and elbow to allow smooth joint motion. In cases of extreme or extensive articular cartilage wear, patients develop osteoarthritis and may require a joint replacement. In young and active patients, cartilage injuries or defects can do more than just limit activities due to pain and swelling. If left untreated, these injuries can lead to more serious disability and, in severe cases, arthritis and possible joint replacement.
Currently, procedures to repair articular cartilage are not designed to treat the extensive cartilage loss seen in osteoarthritis. However, there are procedures that are highly effective in the treatment of cartilage defects in a particular location, such as those associated with acute injury. In the case of extensive meniscus tissue loss in the knee, however, there are options for treatment such as meniscus allograft transplantation or osteotomy or even non-operative treatments such as the use of unloader braces.
Not every patient is a suitable candidate for cartilage restoration or meniscus transplant surgery. These procedures are ideal for active people under age 50. Our experienced providers will assess each patient’s condition and help them make an informed decision. Our Sports Medicine Surgeons are fellowship trained and have expertise in meniscus transplant, osteochondral autograft and allograft procedures, and 2nd and 3rd generation cartilage restoration procedures.
The Cartilage Repair & Restoration Program utilizes the highest quality advanced imaging, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for patient evaluation, in collaboration with Yale University’s Department of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging to determine the size and extent of cartilage injury to optimize patient treatment and surgical planning.
When surgery becomes necessary for patients with cartilage and meniscus injury, our program offers extensive expertise. Not all surgeons are able to offer “cutting-edge” technology in cartilage restoration, as it entails development of new and sometimes more challenging surgical skills that can result in a steep learning curve in order for these procedures to be incorporated successfully and have good outcomes.
The facilities at McGivney Advanced Surgery Center in New Haven and Greenwich Hospital allow our surgeons to provide state-of-the-art, cutting-edge surgical treatments in order to give patients the best potential for maximal recovery.
After surgery, our team also works closely with affiliated physical therapists who are well-versed in managing patients in their recovery phase of healing. This collaboration ensures individualized treatment plans, aimed to optimize recovery and a return to function.