Cartilage Replacement vs. Knee Replacement Surgery

Question

I’m facing double knee replacement. Both of my knees have moderate/severe osteoarthritus. Basically, it’s located on the inside of both knees. I’ve been treated with Synvisc, didn’t help. I’m always in a lot of pain even with riding bike 30min daily. Have you started doing cartlidge replacedment yet? Also, my Dr. talked about doing arthscopic to possibly help me wait for knee replacement until age 61. I’m 57 and it’s affected every part of my life physically and emotionaly. Thanks , Sue Konoske

Answer

Autologous cartilage replacements have met with limited success, as they tend to not be as durable as native cartilage. In addition, they are only appropriate for people with very small areas of worn cartilage.  Knee replacement remains the most effective treatment for advanced symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.  In general, the surgery is well tolerated with a low rate of complications and excellent outcomes in the majority of patients.  In addition, the devices tend to be very durable, with many prostheses in full operation well past 15 to 20 years.

Jon Giles, MD

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