Cartilage Restoration and Transplantation

We are at the forefront of successfully treating and repairing cartilage damage and its resulting joint pain. Through new restoration and transplantation techniques, we’re returning function and pain free lives to athletes and weekend warriors with injuries once thought untreatable.

Most often used to restore function to the knee, in some cases, cartilage transplantation can also successfully treat joint problems in the shoulder.  Ongoing advances in preserving and placing the newly grown or donor cartilage are creating successful, long-term solutions—helping to prevent arthritic changes while delaying or eliminating the need for joint replacement. 

Performed arthroscopically, these biologic resurfacing techniques offer one of the most exciting developments in treating joint pain.

Specialized Services

  • Cartilage “plugs” (OATS Procedure)

    Osteochondral autograft transplantation

    We routinely treat isolated areas of cartilage damage by removing a small section of the patient’s own bone and cartilage from a non-weight bearing area and using it to resurface the damaged area of the knee. 

    Osteochondral allograft transplantation

    For larger areas of bone and cartilage loss, our orthopedic surgeons use healthy cartilage from a tissue bank and transplant it to the damaged area of the knee.  Typically performed on active individuals under 50 with premature arthritis, the donated cartilage and bone eventually functions as the patient’s own tissue. 

  • Cartilage Cell Transplantation (ACI Procedure)

    The next generation of cartilage repair—called MACI (matrix-induced autologous chondrocyte implantation) —uses regenerated cartilage grown from the patient’s own cartilage cells. A patient’s cartilage cells are harvested, embedded on a special collagen membrane and grown in a laboratory culture. In a second procedure, the cells are implanted into the knee or shoulder. As the cartilage cells regenerate and fill the cartilage defect, function and range of motion are restored. 

  • Meniscus Transplantation
    This minimally-invasive procedure replaces the damaged meniscus of the knee with healthy, donor cartilage. By rebuilding the knee’s natural shock absorber with meniscus cartilage from a tissue bank, we return function and stability.