In patients who have early focal or partial area wear and tear in the knee joint with loss of articular cartilage on one side of the joint, it may be possible to consider joint preservation surgery with a cartilage patch utilising the latest regenerative techniques.
During knee arthroscopy in order to stabilise the articular cartilage, we may be able to treat the area with microfracture (actually nanofracture) of the knee surface and to cover the area with a synthetic membrane (synthetic collagen from porcine/pig material). We can then implant this with a layer seeded with the patient’s own bone marrow cells to provide some cover of the area to improve the life of your knee joint.
This is known as Autologous Matrix Implant Chondrogenesis (AMIC) and Bone Marrow Stem Cell Therapy (BMAC) with Collagen Scaffold for Cartilage Regeneration surgery.
The operation takes about 90 minutes, recovery takes between three to six months.
This surgery including the membrane, nanofracture and bone marrow cells have been in use for over 10 years with good published results of 5 years showing better than microfracture alone. This data is being collected and measured by Mr Trikha.
There have been no reported adverse effects of the membrane as it does not have any cells and we use the patient’s own cells for the cartilage regeneration.
If the area of damage is more diffuse, the knee may develop full blown arthritis and at which point you may need a total knee replacement.