Your knee joint is a complex system of bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. Cartilage is a smooth, slippery tissue that cushions the bones of the knee joint and allows them to glide smoothly against each other.
Over time, cartilage can wear down or become damaged due to injury, overuse, or osteoarthritis. When this happens, it can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the knee.
If you have knee cartilage damage, there are many treatment options available. The best option for you will depend on the severity of your damage, your age, and your activity level.
6 Options for Knee Cartilage Replacement and Repair
1. Physical therapy
Physical therapy is often the first line of treatment for knee cartilage damage. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to strengthen the muscles around your knee, improve your range of motion, and reduce pain and swelling.
Microfracture is a surgical procedure that stimulates the body to grow new cartilage. During the procedure, the surgeon makes small holes in the bone under the damaged cartilage. This creates a blood clot, which attracts stem cells to the area. The stem cells then develop into new cartilage tissue.
3. Autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI)
ACI is a surgical procedure that uses your own cartilage cells to repair the damaged cartilage in your knee. During the procedure, the surgeon takes a small cartilage sample from a healthy part of your knee. The cells are then grown in a lab and implanted into the damaged area.
4. Articular cartilage repair: Matrix-induced autologous chondrocyte implantation (MACI)
MACI is similar to ACI, but it uses a collagen patch to deliver the cartilage cells to the damaged area. This patch helps to support the new cartilage cells as they grow.
5. Osteochondral autograft transplantation
Osteochondral autograft transplantation is a surgical procedure that replaces the damaged cartilage and bone in your knee with healthy cartilage and bone from another part of your body.
6. Knee replacement surgery
Knee replacement surgery is a last resort option for patients with severe knee cartilage damage. During the procedure, the surgeon removes and replaces the damaged knee joint with an artificial joint. The knee replacement surgery costs more than the previously stated options.
Factors Affecting Knee Replacement Surgery Cost
When considering the cost of knee replacement surgery, several factors come into play:
Hospital Choice: Different hospitals may have varying pricing structures for knee replacement surgeries. Hospitals like BLK-MAX, Max Nanavati Hospital, and others may offer competitive rates, but it’s wise to compare costs.
Location: The geographical location of the hospital can influence the knee replacement surgery cost. Hospitals in metropolitan areas may charge higher fees than those in smaller cities or towns.
Type of Procedure: The type of knee replacement procedure you opt for (e.g., TKR, PKR, microfracture, cartilage transplantation) will significantly impact the overall cost.
Surgeon’s Fees: The surgeon’s experience and reputation can affect the procedure’s cost. Renowned surgeons may charge higher fees.
Hospital Facilities: The hospital’s quality of facilities and amenities can also influence the overall cost.
Which option is right for you?
The best option for knee cartilage replacement and repair depends on your circumstances. Your doctor will consider the severity of your damage, age, and activity level when recommending.
If you have mild to moderate knee cartilage damage, physical therapy or microfracture may be a good option for you. If you have more severe damage, ACI, MACI, or osteochondral autograft transplantation may be a better option.
If you have severe knee cartilage damage and other failed treatments, knee replacement surgery may be your best option.
Also Read more about Knee Replacement Surgery and how does it work.
What to expect after surgery?
Recovery from knee cartilage replacement and repair surgery can take several months. During this time, you must wear a brace and follow your physical therapist’s instructions.
Most people are able to return to their normal activities within 6 to 12 months after surgery. However, it is important to note that everyone heals differently.
Risks and complications
As with any surgery, there are risks and complications associated with knee cartilage replacement and repair surgery. These risks include:
Allergic reaction to anesthesia
Failure of the new cartilage to grow or implant properly
Talk to your doctor
If you are considering knee cartilage replacement and repair surgery, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of each option. Your doctor can help you choose the best option for your individual needs.
When faced with knee cartilage damage, exploring all available options for repair and replacement is essential. While considering these options, the cost of knee replacement surgery should be a significant factor in your decision-making process.
Hospitals like BLK-MAX, Max Nanavati Hospital, and those within the Max Healthcare Group offer a range of knee cartilage repair and replacement services. However, it’s crucial to inquire about the knee replacement surgery cost at your chosen healthcare facility to make an informed decision that aligns with your budget and healthcare needs.