Cartilage Transplant

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Cartilage Transplant Specialist

Cartilage is a tough, flexible tissue that supports normal joint function. Trauma, arthritis and wear and tear can eventually damage cartilage, interfering with normal, pain-free motion. The medical team at HUNTINGTON ORTHOPEDICS® in Pasadena, CA, performs state-of-the-art cartilage transplant procedures to help patients avoid the need for joint replacement.

Cartilage Transplant Q & A

What is cartilage?

Cartilage is a tough, flexible connective tissue found in many areas of the body, including the joints where it reduces friction and promotes a normal range of motion. Although it’s not as hard as bone, it’s much tougher than soft tissues. Cartilage does not contain blood vessels, especially when it becomes damaged, healing is much slower compared to other tissues. Cartilage can become damaged as a result of traumatic injury, from repetitive or overuse of a joint, or from wear and tear related to aging. Some diseases like arthritis cause cartilage inside the joints to break down more quickly. Cartilage in the knee is especially prone to damage as a result of ongoing weight-bearing activities and wear and tear. When this cartilage becomes badly damaged, a cartilage transplant can be used to replace the damaged tissue and, ideally, avoid the need for knee replacement surgery.

How is a cartilage transplant performed?

Most cartilage transplant procedures can be performed arthroscopically using minimally-invasive techniques and small incisions. Arthroscopic surgery uses a special instrument called an arthroscope equipped with a tiny camera that takes pictures inside the joint and sends the images back to a large screen for viewing throughout the procedure. Minimally invasive approaches are associated with less tissue damage and faster healing. Some transplant surgeries require larger incisions to gain greater access to the surgical site. Once the cartilage has been properly positioned, sutures are used to keep it in place.

Am I a good candidate for a cartilage transplant?

Cartilage transplants can be a good choice for many patients, but they’re not ideal in every case. Generally, cartilage transplants are better options for patients who are:

  • 55 years of age or younger
  • physically active
  • have localized areas of osteoarthritis

Patients with joint instability, those who are obese and those who have had cancer treatment in the affected limb typically are not good candidates.

Our Doctors

Thomas Ackerson, MD

Thomas Ackerson, MD

Joint Replacement and Fracture Surgery

Dr. Ackerson specializes in Total Joint Replacement

Andre Atoian, MD

Andre Atoian, MD

Pain Management and Addiction Medicine

Andre Atoian, MD possess a unique background in anesthesia.

Todd Borenstein, MD

Todd Borenstein, MD

Foot and Ankle Surgeon

Dr. Todd Borenstein is a top rated orthopedic surgeon at HUNTINGTON ORTHOPEDICS®

Walter Burnham, MD

Walter Burnham, MD

Spine Surgeon

Dr. Walter Hynan Burnham, M.D., is a leading Orthopedic Surgeon in Pasadena, CA.

Mark J. Jo, MD

Mark J. Jo, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon

Dr. Mark Jeffrey Jo, M.D., is a skilled Orthopedic Specialist offering advanced, custom care solutions.

Vahe Panossian, MD

Vahe Panossian, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon & Sports Medicine Specialist

Dr. Vahe Robert Panossian, M.D., is a top-ranked orthopedist .

Mort Rizvi, MD

Mort Rizvi, MD

Plastic Surgeon & Hand Surgeon

Dr. Murtaza (Mort) Rizvi, M.D., is an experienced Hand Surgeon in Pasadena, CA.

Sepideh Saber, MD

Sepideh Saber, MD

Plastic Surgeon and Hand Surgeon

Dr. Saber is a board-eligible, highly trained plastic surgeon.

George Tang, MD

George Tang, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon & Sports Medicine Specialist

Dr. George Tang, M.D., is a top-rated Orthopedic Surgeon.