Cartilage Repair and Joint Preservation Medical and Surgical Treatment Options
Articular cartilage defects are most often caused by trauma and osteoarthritis and less commonly by metabolic disorders of the subchondral bone, such as osteonecrosis and osteochondritis dissecans. Such defects do not heal spontaneously in adults and can lead to secondary osteoarthritis. Medications are indicated for symptomatic relief. Slow-acting drugs in osteo - arthritis (SADOA), such as glucosamine and chondroitin, are thought to prevent cartilage degeneration. Reconstructive surgical treatment strategies aim to form a repair tissue or to unload compartments of the joint with articular cartilage damage. In this article, we selectively review the pertinent literature, focusing on original publications of the past 5 years and older standard texts. Particular attention is paid to guidelines and clinical studies with a high level of evidence, along with review articles, clinical trials, and book chapters. There have been only a few randomized trials of medical versus surgical treatments. Pharmacological therapies are now available that are intended to treat the cartilage defect per se, rather than the associated symptoms, yet none of them has yet been shown to slow or reverse the progres sion of cartilage destruction. Surgical débridement of cartilage does not prevent the progression of osteoarthritis and is thus not recommended as the sole treatment. Marrow-stimulating procedures and osteochondral grafts are indicated for small focal articular cartilage defects, while autologous chondrocyte implantationis mainly indicated for larger cartilage defects. These surgical reconstructive techniques play a lesser role in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Osteotomy near the knee joint is indicated for axial realignment when unilateral osteoarthritis of the knee causes axis deviation. Surgical reconstructive techniques can improve joint func tion and thereby postpone the need for replacement of the articular surface with an artificial joint.
CitationDeutsches Ärzteblatt International 108(2011) nr. 40 s. 669-677
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