When you’re losing mobility in your joint, it can limit what you can do physically. Chronic joint pain and immobility can also have a significant impact on your mental and emotional health.
If your pain isn’t manageable with conservative therapies, you might be a candidate for cartilage surgery. As a skilled orthopedic surgeon, Carlos A.Uquillas, MD, offers this type of surgery to restore your joint health and help you enjoy a physically active, pain-free life.
Why your joints hurt so much
There are a number of reasons why your joints might hurt. If you suffer trauma to a joint from playing sports or from a fall, you might damage joint structures and develop chronic pain that becomes more difficult to treat.
Degenerative diseases are also a primary cause of chronic joint pain, especially osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a type of degenerative arthritis that develops when the protective cartilage that lines your joints begins breaking down and wearing away.
Without sufficient cartilage, the bones in your joint begin rubbing together and generating friction with every movement. This friction causes chronic inflammation that limits how much you can move your joint. You likely will also develop persistent pain that interferes with your quality of life.
Another condition that can damage your joints is osteochondritis dissecans (OCD). This condition causes the bone underneath the cartilage to die off because of poor blood circulation. As you lose bone, the cartilage can break off and limit the range of motion you have in your joint.
How cartilage surgery helps repair joints
Cartilage surgery is a procedure to repair damaged cartilage and reduce friction within your joint.
When you can no longer treat chronic joint pain with conservative therapies like medications, physical therapy, and regenerative medicine treatments, Dr. Uquillas can determine if you’re a candidate for cartilage surgery.
During surgery, Dr. Uquillas will take a healthy piece of cartilage from another joint in your body, usually a non-weight-bearing joint, and place it in the damaged joint. This type of surgery is known as osteochondral autograft transplantation.
If you have OCD, Dr. Uquillas can also remove bone fragments that are left behind, which limit the movement of your joint.
Cartilage surgery is typically done arthroscopically through small incisions. This means you’ll have less pain and a faster recovery time than you might with traditional open surgery.
Determine candidacy for cartilage surgery
To determine if cartilage surgery is right for you, Dr. Uquillas spends time reviewing your medical history and your current joint health.
Typically, candidates for cartilage surgery are young and have a single injury in the joint. However, age doesn’t rule you out as a candidate, depending on your condition.
Dr. Uquillas most often performs cartilage surgery on the knee joint. He can also repair damaged cartilage in other joints including your shoulder and ankle.
After your surgery, you can expect to need physical therapy to restore function in the affected joint. Therapy can also help you heal more efficiency and reduce your reliance on pain medications during your recovery.
To find out if cartilage surgery is right for you, call the office of Carlos A. Uquillas, MD, nearest you or book a consultation online today.