Department of traumatology, orthopedics and endoprosthesis at the Clinic of Friedrichshafen offers the most efficient methods of surgical and non-surgical knee cartilage treatment. More than 5000 thousand knee cartilage transplantation procedures have been carried here since 2008. Head of the Department, Professor E. Winter is an experienced joint surgeon. Due to the extensive experience in the field of orthopedic knee surgery and replacement, his team can guarantee the desired result of the highly standartized joint surgery.
The special are of specialization of the Department is minimally invasive joint and cartilage replacement surgery. Orthopedic treatment at the Department of Orthopedics in Friedrichshafen implies that you will be offered the most sparing and safe technique of cartilage treatment.
Cartilage plays a very important role, acting as a cushion inside joints. Healthy cartilage tissue of the joints is smooth, flexible and painless. The knee joint is fully covered with a thin layer of cartilage in the zone, which accounts for the largest load.
Damage to cartilage may be due to several reasons, including:
If the cartilage is destroyed to more than 20%, it is high time to consider knee cartilage treatment (replacement).
Koenig's disease (osteochondrosis or osteochondritis) is a direct indication for knee cartilage replacement. The disease affects the knee and hip joint cartilage, resulting in necrosis of a limited area of ??the articular cartilage. As a result of necrosis the affected area is "off" from the surface of the cartilage, forming the "articular mouse". Causes of knee cartilage necrosis has not yet been established. It is assumed that a predisposing factor is the violation of the blood supply to the small bones under the cartilage area, which results in excessive load on joint cartilage.
To clarify the diagnosis the specialists at the Clinic of Friedrichshafen use the following research methods:
The basic diagnosis of knee cartilage problems take 1-2 days and costs about 1 500- 3 000 euro.
If the conservative treatment of the knee cartilage, such as acupuncture, physiotherapy or hyaluronic acid injections proved to be inefficient, the operation on the cartilage may be key to the problem. Depending on the age of the patient, and the degree of cartilage damage, the specialist offers tot hink about three possibilities:
In case of serious damage to the cartilage the arthroscopic surgery technique called chondroplasty is implemented. If cartilage is severy destroyed conducts the so-called microfracturing. Small holes are drilled on the open surface of the bone with a special tool. Through these incisions the arthroscope with a special camera is inserted. Under the video-control the specialist smoothes the degenerative cartilage, trimms the unstable cartilage flaps and treats chondral lesions. The cost of the chondroplasty is about 5 000 euro. After this operation there comes a period of rehabilitation, which lasts for about 3 weeks.
Patients with minor injuries of cartilage tissue have the opportunity to get cartilage replacement. The artificial cartilage is made of porous synthetic material, consisting of a copolymer and calcium sulfate. The tissue grafts are selected individually and are different in size. This technique of knee cartilage replacement helps to repair cartilage damage up to 24 x 24 mm.
This surgery is also performed arthroscopic ally. The damaged cartilage is removed and in its place the artificial graft TruFit. Is introduced. The rehabilitation period lasts about 2 weeks. The surgery of knee cartilage replacement costs about 8 000-10 000 euro.
Modern medicine has found an original solution to the problem of knee cartilage degeneration. Cartilage can be regenerated naturally within the patient's body. It was found out that the cartilage tissue seized from a patients body can be grown out in a laboratory. The amount of cartilage damage, must not exceed 1.5 x 1.5 cm.
During minimally invasive surgery a small sample of healthy cartilage cells are taken from the knee of a patient. The necessary cartilage mass is grown in the laboratory for about 15 days. After this period, the cells are ready for transplantation. After surgery of cartilage transplantation the knee patient should undergo the special rehabilitation course (6 to 12 weeks). After the surgery the knee functionality is restored to up to 95%. The cost oft he knee cartilage transplantation makes up about 15 000-20 000 (depending on the cartilage mass which should be regenerated).
If you have problems with knee or hip cartilage and would like to get more information, don’t hesitate to consult the specialist at the international office of the Clinic of Friedrichshafen.