Treatment of articular cartilage lesions in the knee remains a challenge for the practising orthopaedic surgeon. A wide range of options are currently practised, ranging from conservative measures through various types of operations and, recently, use of growth factors and emerging gene therapy techniques. The end result of these methods is usually a fibrous repair tissue (fibrocartilage), which lacks the biomechanical characteristics of hyaline cartilage that are necessary to withstand the compressive forces distributed across the knee. The fibrocartilage generally deteriorates over time, resulting in a return of the original symptoms and occasionally reported progression to osteoarthritis. Our purpose in this study was to review the aetiology, pathogenesis and treatment options for articular cartilage lesions of the knee. At present, autologous cell therapies, growth factor techniques and biomaterials offer more promising avenues of research to find clinical answers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine