Knee Cartilage Repair Surgeon

The protective cartilage that lines the ends of the bones is called articular cartilage. Articular cartilage in the knee can be injured following a trauma, injury, or wear and tear and can cause pain. Articular cartilage does not regenerate without surgical intervention. In most circumstances, the use of synthetic scaffolds can provide a superior cartilage repair tissue that can assist the knee in repairing the articular cartilage damage. Synthetic scaffold cartilage repair surgeon, Doctor Riley J. Williams specializes in articular cartilage repair. If you are interested in this specialized repair surgery and you live in Manhattan or New York City, NY, contact Dr. William’s team today!

212-606-1855
Request an Appointment

What is synthetic scaffold cartilage repair surgery?

Synthetic scaffold cartilage repair surgery is a procedure that utilized acelluar man-made plugs or patches to repair an area of damaged articular cartilage. This procedure is most commonly performed in the knee, but the ankle and shoulder may also be treated in this manner as well. Articular cartilage is the slippery surface that covers the ends of long bones with the joints; healthy cartilage allows the bones to move seamlessly against one another. The synthetic plugs and patches are made of a synthetic material that act as a scaffold or bridge for growing cartilage. These plugs and patches are comprised of substances that mimic that natural structural component of articular cartilage. Once inserted into a patient’s knee, cells move to the damaged area and repair cartilage by migrating into the plug or patch. The migrating cells help to restore the damaged area of cartilage in concert with the implanted scaffold. Dr. Riley J. Williams, orthopedic knee surgeon, serving Manhattan, New York City and the surrounding New York boroughs, is skilled in performing synthetic scaffold cartilage repair surgeries.

Why is synthetic scaffold cartilage repair surgery performed?

Articular cartilage can be injured following a trauma injury or wear away slowly over time (arthritis). Cartilage does not regenerate intrinsically without the assistance of surgical repair. Cartilage wear causes painful friction within joints and limits the individual’s ability to participate in sports or day-to-day activities. In most circumstances, the use of synthetic scaffolds provide a superior cartilage repair tissue compared to the commonly performed microfracture technique. Microfracture is the process of creating small holes in the bone of the base of a cartilage lesion. These holes act as vascular channels that allow stem cells from the marrow to migrate to area of damaged cartilage and create a cartilage repair tissue layer. Early studies suggest that synthetic scaffold repair technique may have better long-term effects.

How is synthetic scaffold cartilage repair surgery performed?

The procedure is performed under regional anesthesia. Dr. Williams will use an arthroscope to view the damage within the knee. An arthroscope is a small camera that can be inserted inro the knee using a very small incision. The images are displayed on a monitor which can help guide the procedure. The amount of synthetic material needed will be dependent upon the severity of the cartilage damage. The plugs or patches can be customized to fit the exact shape of the symptomatic chondral defect.

What are the risks?

The adverse reactions for the surgery are low but may include infection, blood clots, nerve damage, temporary or permanent numbness at the incision site, allergic reaction to the anesthesia, excessive bleeding and/or continued knee pain. Dr. Riley will discuss the risk, benefits and potential alternatives of the procedure.

How long does it take to recover?

The healing process from surgery may take approximately 4-6 months. Patients are typically on crutches for one week, then their weight bearing to full is advanced per their tolerance.  Physical therapy is employed early to help the patient regain knee strength and mobility. The use of NSAIDs and prescription pain medicine may be necessary for the first few weeks following the procedure. Full clearance for sports is predicated on achieving near normal muscle strength in the operated limb.

For more information on synthetic scaffold cartilage repair surgery, or to find a treatment for your knee pain, please contact the office of Riley J. Williams, MD, orthopedic shoulder specialist serving Manhattan, New York City, and the surrounding New York boroughs.