Aspetar introduce a new advanced therapy to repair cartilage defects in the knee

19 Jun 2022

The first one-stage cartilage repair with freshly isolated Chondrocytes out of Europe.

Aspetar, orthopaedic and sports medicine hospital, is the first in the region to perform a kind of regeneration cartilage that helps repair cartilage defects, a chronic condition that affects many athletes and patients.

The newly introduced technic used by Aspetar surgeons is the first one-stage cartilage repair with freshly isolated Chondrocytes, to be performed out of Europe.

The cartilage cells were harvested and isolated from the patient, and then prepared in a portable lab, enhanced by Stem cells, and applied to a biological membrane.  This membrane was then implanted to the cartilage defect in the patient’s knee. 

During the procedure the surgeon combines chondrocytes and stem cells of the patient and this mixture is applied to the cartilage defect with the use of a biological absorbable membrane. In this way, the chondrocytes are producing cartilage and the defect is filled with new tissue under a certain biological timeline.

Dr. Emmanouil Papakostas, Aspetar Orthopaedic surgeon, said:

At present, we do not have the optimal treatment option for cartilage, however, this technique gives better mid to long-term results when compared with other most commonly used techniques like microfractures.

The procedure can be done arthroscopically or with mini arthrotomy and the duration is less than two hours. The patient stays in the hospital for one or two days and to resume his daily activities, it takes 6 to 8 weeks considering the exact anatomical location of the problem and the size.  The same parameters also play a role in the return to play time, which can be from 6 to 12 months.

This new service will allow the hospital to perform the procedure for selected cases, with the proper indication, as part of the full spectrum of joint preservation treatments that are already applied at Aspetar.

Aspetar’s Surgery department boasts a team of highly skilled, internationally renowned surgeons from around the world, who perform sports and arthroscopic surgical procedures using the most advanced techniques and equipment.

Damage to the articular cartilage of the knee in athletes presents one of the most difficult challenges in the care of elite and recreational athletes.

Cartilage defect injuries in athletes are common in sports associated with jumping, pivoting, rapid deceleration, and acceleration. This is particularly true of football, basketball, and handball, but may also occur in any sport requiring these repeated athletic movements.

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