How does autologous chondrocyte transplantation work?
During your first appointment, healthy cartilage cells will be harvested and taken to a lab to grow over the next four to eight weeks. Once ready, the new cells will be transplanted back into your ankle with an almost 100% chance that the body will accept them. During this gentle type of surgery, every bit of damaged cartilage will be replaced. If you are also experiencing an ankle deformity, you will need to undergo therapy to treat that condition. The deformity must be addressed, as it will only continue to cause cartilage damage, making the first operation worthless.
For whom is cartilage transplantation recommended?
Generally speaking, any patient with cartilage damage can undergo this procedure, as other options are limited. Active patients and those under the age of 40 are the best candidates for transplantation. In addition, it should be noted that cartilage transplantation is only appropriate in cases where a maximum of 1.5 square centimetres of cartilage are affected. Patients should also be aware that this surgery requires two operations. Both surgeries will be carried out as gently as possible.