Thomas J. Kremen, M.D.
Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Specialist located in Santa Monica, CA & Los Angeles, CA
The joints in your body rely on several components to function correctly and painlessly, with cartilage at the top of the list. If you’ve suffered a cartilage injury in your knee or shoulder, it’s essential to seek expert care from an experienced orthopedic specialist like Thomas J. Kremen, MD to avoid further damage to these critical joints. If you’re in the Santa Monica area, call the office or use the online scheduling tool to book an appointment.
Cartilage Repair and Restoration Q & A
What is cartilage?
The joints in your body are much more than places where two or more bones meet. Articulating joints provide support, mobility, shock absorption, and range of movement, and cartilage plays a pivotal role in that.
Cartilage is a fibrous, connective tissue that covers the ends of your bones at your joints to prevent them from rubbing together painfully. Not only does cartilage allow your bones to glide smoothly across one another, they provide crucial cushioning in many of your major joints, such as your knees.
Your cartilage also stores synovial fluid, which provides lubrication for your joints.
What are the most common cartilage injuries?
Given its role, your cartilage is very strong, but it can succumb to wear and tear, as well as acute stresses that push it past its breaking point, especially if it’s already weakened due to extensive use. Cartilage damage stems from two things:
If you sustain an injury to your joint, your cartilage may fall prey and tear or break off. These types of injuries typically occur in your shoulders and your knees.
Over time, especially if you’re active, your cartilage can wear down and eventually break apart, which is one of the hallmarks of osteoarthritis.
How are cartilage injuries treated?
Your cartilage can be tricky to treat when it’s damaged due to lack of blood, meaning it can’t repair itself or regenerate. Any damage to your cartilage is best treated by an orthopedist like Dr. Kremen because he has the experience to work around this problem to restore your mobility and pain-free movement.
Depending upon the location and the extent of the damage, Dr. Kremen may turn to several different treatment options, including:
- Laparoscopic repair of the cartilage
- Removal and resurfacing of cartilage in a debridement procedure
- Cartilage graft, also called a mosaicplasty
- Marrow stimulation to create new cartilage by accessing blood vessels in your bone
- Joint replacement
Dr. Kremen determines the best course of action based on your goals and your cartilage damage to restore health to your joint.
If you’d like to learn more about cartilage injuries and treatments, call Dr. Kremen or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.