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Repairing knee cartilage in older adults shows promising results

Cartilage 'plugs' repair articular cartilage in the knee of patients with average age 51

More on osteoarthritis, cartilage damage - click

March 4, 2016 - As many seniors know, patients who have cartilage damage in their knees often experience pain and are unable to engage in sports and other activities they enjoy. Two studies at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) find that cartilage restoration procedures are a viable treatment option for patients over 40 years old.

"Various cartilage restoration procedures have demonstrated success rates ranging from 50 to 90 percent, but the majority of reported results were in patients ages 30 and younger," said Riley J. Williams, III, MD, senior study author and director of the Institute for Cartilage Repair at Hospital for Special Surgery.

"Our studies are the first to look at outcomes of three specific procedures used to repair damaged cartilage in patients over 40."

The research, presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, found that procedures using different types of cartilage "plugs" relieved pain and improved function in patients with articular cartilage damage.

Articular cartilage is the smooth, white tissue that covers the ends of bones where they meet to form a joint. It can be damaged by injury or normal wear and tear. Because cartilage does not heal on its own, various surgical techniques have been developed to repair the damaged area, but with mixed results.

Patients in the HSS studies had degenerative changes in their cartilage and isolated areas of pain and swelling, characteristic of arthritis. Most of the patients did not meet the criteria for total knee replacement. Cartilage restoration is not intended for patients with advanced bone-on-bone arthritis.

The first study included 35 patients whose damaged cartilage was under their kneecap. The second study included 61 patients whose cartilage damage was at the end of their femur bone in the knee joint.

The mean age in both studies was 51.5, and participants had no knee injury other than the cartilage lesion. All had a minimum follow-up of two years after surgery.

Dr. Williams performed cartilage restoration surgery using various types of "plugs" to fill in the hole, or damaged area. More than half of the patients received a synthetic plug. The other patients received either a donor cartilage plug or a small plug of cartilage transferred from another healthy area of their knee that did support their weight.

At the average follow-up of 3.5 years, the vast majority of patients reported higher activity levels and decreased pain, as well as a high degree of satisfaction with the procedure, according to Dr. Williams. There were no statistically significant differences in outcomes among the different treatments.

"For the first time, this middle-aged group of athletic individuals may have some good options to repair cartilage lesions," Dr. Williams said. "In addition to improving their quality of life, this may help them delay the need for a knee replacement down the road. "  

Following are other research reports pertaining to cartilage repair posted in that last year.

Tissue fluid flow can reveal onset of osteoarthritis
... of the composition of articular cartilage (A) and a sagittal view ... a sagittal view of human knee joint (B). view more ... of interstitial fluid in articular cartilage could be an indicator revealing ...
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-02/uoef-tff021516.php- 46.8KB - Recent News Releases

53%

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15 Feb 16

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Cells from cow knee joints used to grow new cartilage tissue in laboratory
... joints used to grow new cartilage tissue in laboratory ... IMAGE: Engineered cartilage tissue at Umeε University. view ... University in Sweden successfully used cartilage cells from cow knee joints. By creating a successful ...
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-01/uu-cfc011816.php- 45.8KB - Recent News Releases

68%

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21 Jan 16

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Morbidly obese patients may benefit from bariatric surgery prior to knee replacement
... from bariatric surgery prior to knee replacement ... end-stage osteoarthritis (loss of cartilage and joint pain, caused by ... effects of bariatric surgery on knee osteoarthritis and total knee replacement, our model summarizes what ...
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-01/aaoo-mop012116.php- 44.4KB - Recent News Releases

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21 Jan 16

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New work on knee cartilage structure to aid better replacements and injury treatments
... New work on knee cartilage structure to aid better replacements ... PHILADELPHIA - Fibrocartilage tissue in the knee is comprised of a more ... better treat such injuries as knee meniscus tears - treatment of which ...
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-01/uops-nwo010816.php- 49.1KB - Recent News Releases

86%

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08 Jan 16

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Critical clues on cartilage
... 2016 Critical clues on cartilage Cartilage ... Cartilage studies shed light on 'microdomains ... cartilaginous tissues, such as the knee meniscus and the intervertebral disc ...
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-01/uod-cco010416.php- 45.5KB - Recent News Releases

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04 Jan 16

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MRI reveals weight loss protects knees
... slow the degeneration of their knee cartilage, according to a new MRI ... of California, San Francisco. "Once cartilage is lost in osteoarthritis, the ... loss and the progression of knee cartilage degeneration in 506 overweight and ...
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-11/rson-mrw112315.php- 43.6KB - Past Year's News Releases

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30 Nov 15

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Samumed announces modulation of Wnt pathway for potential cartilage regeneration
... of Wnt pathway for potential cartilage regeneration ... endogenous stem cells to regenerate knee cartilage in animals. Clinical data indicate ... of preservation or regrowth of cartilage. " ...
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-11/rbsc-sam110915.php- 45.7KB - Past Year's News Releases

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09 Nov 15

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Graft properties affect knee ligament surgery outcome more than surgical technique
... mechanical stress to the articular cartilage, which may be a result ... material model of the articular cartilage, and validated its response to ... best, in terms of both knee motion and cartilage stresses. The next best match ...
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-10/uoef-gpa101415.php- 46.6KB - Past Year's News Releases

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14 Oct 15

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Studying kangaroo cartilage could help human treatment
... joints reveal how shoulder and knee cartilage behaves differently -- which could lead ... that in most studies of knee cartilage, suggesting that artificial knee and shoulder joints may need ... concern in aging, active populations. "Knee cartilage has been studied extensively. However ...
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-09/aiop-skc090315.php- 48.1KB - Past Year's News Releases

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08 Sep 15

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