Sports, work and everyday life demand a lot from our joints. As movement and connection elements, they enable flowing and fast movement sequences. However, due to the constant or activity-related stress, our cartilage between the joints suffers and wears out over time or, in some cases, abruptly. The result of this stress is cartilage damage and osteoarthritis. In addition, various injuries bring damage or secondary damage to the cartilage. Once the cartilage layer is damaged, pain results and freedom of movement is drastically restricted. In the worst case, if the cartilage damage is extensive, replacement of the affected joint follows in the form of surgical correction. To avoid this intervention, early diagnosis of the cartilage damage and the performance of a cartilage cell transplant are crucial.
Cartilage damage is divided into the following stages:
- Grade I: Discoloration of the cartilage, mild, possibly reversible softening of the cartilage.
- Grade II: Cracks in the cartilage layer, usually the cartilage surface is not damaged
- Grade III: Visible cartilage defects extending to the bone
- Grade IV: Severe joint damage with complete destruction of the cartilage layer, absence of cartilage layer, exposed bone
New freedom through Cartilage Transplantation
In the past, there were not many alternatives for cartilage damage. If the wear was too great, the affected joint had to be replaced. Due to many years of research in the field of sports orthopedics, existing therapies were successively improved and new forms of treatment were developed. At Clinic Bel Etage, we offer cartilage cell therapy, a unique procedure in which the affected joint can be preserved through the use of specially cultivated cartilage cells. In this procedure, healthy cartilage is implanted into the patient with the help of an arthroscopic procedure. The newly placed cells bond with the still healthy cartilage and form a protective unit so that the joint can function without direct contact.
Biotechnology for joint preservation
Our cartilage ensures that our joints have an intact range of motion. In cartilage cell therapy (AMIC procedure), cartilage cells based on the patient’s genetic makeup are individually grown in the laboratory to achieve optimal results in fitting and attachment. A prior analysis of the cartilage condition can also be used to determine where and how much of the new cartilage cells should be inserted into the still existing cartilage layer. With the help of special collagen membranes, not only the fresh cartilage is protected, but also a stimulation of the stem cells is achieved, which improves the ingrowth into the existing structure. The goal at Clinic Bel Etage is to create a completely intact cartilage layer that can allow the patient to resume sports or professional activities.
Areas of application of Cartilage Transplantation:
- Knee joint (after sports injuries that affect the cartilage: Meniscus damage, cruciate ligament tear, internal and external ligament tear).
- Hip joint
- Ankle joint
- Elbow joint
- Shoulder joint