BioCartilage For Cartilage Repair
A common treatment for full thickness chondral defects (deep areas of cartilage damage down to the bone) is microfracture. Essentially this involves, drilling multiple shallow holes, or microfractures, into the exposed bone which allows blood and bone marrow cells to form a 'clot' that completely covers the damaged area and matures into repair tissue.
The problem with this procedure is that microfracture leads to the growth of fibrocartilage repair tissue, rather than native hyaline-like cartilage, which is less durable in the long-term. Efforts to augment the microfracture technique and yield true hyaline-like cartilage have led to the development of BioCartilage.
BioCartilage is a new product containing dehydrated, micronized allogeneic cartilage and it is implanted with the addition of platelet rich plasma over a microfractured defect. Platelet rich plasma is shown to promote the cartilage repair process while the BioCartilage provides an appropriate cartilage scaffold within which cartilage can grow.
It's a pretty interesting technique which may create more hyaline-like tissue at the repair site versus microfracture alone.
News anchor Maureen McFadden of WNDU Michigan did a feature on this treatment in the Medical Moment segment, which can be viewed by clicking the link below:
For more information on how this process is performed on the knee, here is an animation of the procedure compliments Arthrex: