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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Hip and Knee

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Isolated cartilage defects

If localised areas of cartilage have been lost, techniques can be employed to try and allow healing of repair cartilage over the exposed bone.

Microfracture techniques involving penetrating the bone at the base of a defect. This allows a clot to form in the defect, with cells that can change into cartilage forming cells allowing a repair to the area.

Sometimes more specialised techniques are needed (ACI/MACI) where cartilage cells are harvested from areas of the knee not involved in normal function. These cells are then grown in laboratories to produce a large number of new cartilage cells. In a second procedure they can be implanted into the defect with the aim of creating a cartilage repair.