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Carticel: A step forward in the treatment of knee cartilage damage

A severe knee cartilage injury can radically change an active adult's lifestyle. Symptoms such as locking, catching, localized pain and swelling often affect your ability to work, play, even perform normal activities. Injuries resulting in lesions may require surgical intervention in order to return to an active life. But long-term results of many treatments have been disappointing, and some patients require further surgeries within a few years.

With Carticel®(autologous cultured chondrocytes), you and your orthopedic surgeon now have an option that may regenerate the cartilage and allow you to get back in the game.

About Carticel and the treatment of femoral focal chondral lesions:
The goal of Carticel treatment is to restore the articular surface and regenerate hyaline cartilage without compromising the integrity of healthy tissue or the subchondral bone. This may be achieved through autologous cultured chondrocyte implantation.

Carticel has demonstrated important benefits in some patients with a type of femoral defect called a Focal Chondral Lesion (FCL). If your orthopedic surgeon has determined that you have this type of lesion, then Carticel may be an appropriate treatment option.

The procedure takes place in several stages described here.
Implantation of Carticel
(autologous cultured chondrocytes)

Step 1:
An arthroscopic biopsy - First, the surgeon examines your knee throught an arthroscope - a small device that allows the doctor to see into your knee joint. If a lesion is detected, a tiny biopsy of healthy cartilage tissue will be removed.

Step 2:
Cell culture processing - The cartilage sample is then sent to Genyzme Tissue Repair (GTR), where it is cultured. Cell culturing takes about 4-5 weeks, during which time your cells multiple significantly. About 12 million cells will be supplied to your surgeon at the time of your operation.

Step 3:
A surgical procedure is preformed, and the damaged cartilage is removed.

Step 4:
Periosteum, skin that covers the bone, is sutured over the prepared defect.

Step 5:
Surgical implantation - The cultured cells are then implanted into the lesion. Here, the cells may continue to multiply and intergrate with surrounding cartilage. With time, the cells will mature and fill-in the lesion with hyaline cartilage.

Dr. Neff has had special training in this procedure and has done several of these surgeries. They are primarily indicated in the patient with one specific type of lesion and who are less than 50 years of age.

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