Hello all. I have arthritis in many places, but I am focusing on my knees at the moment. I also have degenerative cartilage diseases affecting my spine, hips and knees. Anyway, I have had a total of 5 surgeries on both of my knees (3 on the left, 2 on the right). At my last appointment, my surgeon said that there are 3 options to try to correct the problems I have with my knees. One would be to replace the knee, but, since I am 32, he doesn't want to do that yet. The second one would be to remove some of the cartilage cells from my own knee, send it to a lab where they would grow more catilage, and then, put the newly grown cartilage back into my knee. The third option would be to have cadaver cartilage put into my knee. My question is, has anyone here had either of the last two procedures done, and, if so, what was it like and what were the results?
Thank you in advance for your responses,
I have had 9 total knee surgeries (6 left and 3 right)
Growing cartilage in a lab then transplanting in the knee works for articular (end of the bone cartilage).
If this is your problem I would definitely start on glucosamine sulfate. it has been well documented & proven to regenerate articluar cartilage.
As for cadever cartilage - this is if your meniscus/meniscal cartilage is damaged - those extra nice shock asborbers in the knee joint. usually when you her arthroscopic knee surgery - the procedure involves cutting out the bad meniscus cartilage, smoothing out the rough stuff etc... and maybe debridement to smoothe things out (under the kneecap etc.)
I have not had articular cartilage transplants but I will tell you this--- since being on glucosamine sulfate for 2 years-- the knees feel pretty good,. I have no meniscus cartilage to speak of (and that usually is a kiss of death meaning knee replacements are just about guaranteed down the road); but they are holding their own.
good luck - keep researching, do your homework, and don;t get cut until your real sure of all the +'s and -'s. You may also want to ask your doctor about collagen meniscus implants. take care
Thanks for your quick reply! Yes, both my meniscal and articular cartilage are effected. I have almost none of either type cartilage left. Each time I had surgery, you're right, they debrided and smoothed and removed any rough areas to the point where I have almost none left. Thanks for mentioning glucosamine; I had been taking it regularly for a couple of years, but at some point, I just stopped taking it. I think I will start taking it again; it might just help. And, anything that would prevent me having to have further surgery, and more than just a scope this time, would be great. I am probably going to have to have some type of procedure in the future, but, if I can even just put it off for a while, or, make it a less invasive procedure, it would definitely be worth it. Well, thank you for your input! I appreciate all the help I can get in my search to be better educated about my condition and options. Take care and thanks again!
I found it interesting that he suggested growing the cartilidge and putting it back in your new. I asked my orthopod about that and he said it really wouldn't work. he said they generally do that in people who had an injury that they lost some cartilidge. He said the theory is that the cartilidge that's grown and put back in adheres to cartilidge that's already there. If you have arthritis and almost no cartilidge there's nothing for it to adhere to. Anyway that was one surgeons opinion.