Cartilage damage in knee is often common these days. Aging or sudden hit are the major causes. The cartilage damage induce acute pain and swelling in the knee. As a result, range of motion of knee becomes limited. The cartilage damage in knee is often treated by a surgical process called mosaicplasty. Mosaicplasty replaces the damaged cartilage with a new one. In this way the symptoms of damage are completely removed. This surgery is successful to treat only minor cartilage injury.
A physical examination of the patient is just not sufficient to diagnose or confirm cartilage damage. MRI scan, x-ray or arthroscopic treatment are done to detect damage inside knee and hence treat it. During surgery, the patient is made unconscious by giving proper anesthesia. The cartilage from other non-weight bearing areas of knee are taken. Small incisions are made on the front or back portion of knee. With the help of some surgical tools, the damaged cartilage is removed. The empty space is then filled with new cartilage portion. The tools are then removed and wounds are closed by stitches.
Following the surgery, knee braces are used to balance the knee. It prevents pressure or strain on the operated knee. The braces are removed after 4-6 weeks of surgery. As healing progresses, simple physical exercises are also instructed by the doctor. These exercises tend to regain the mobility and hence fasten recovery. It takes almost 3-4 months for the patient to recover.
The possible risks included in mosaicplasty surgery are:
- Enhanced pain and swelling
- Nerve damages