There are multiple experimental treatments that use a patient’s own cells to grow new, healthy cartilage. We are one of the six centers nationwide testing a new implant technology called NeoCart. Patients have access to this treatment through study participation.
First, surgeons biopsy, or surgically remove, cartilage cells from non-weight bearing areas of your knee joint. Cartilage cells are then grown in a lab before being implanted into a special three-dimensional scaffold that functions as a type of house where cells live and continue to grow. Once a big enough piece of cartilage is grown, it is implanted back into your knee. A novel bioadhesive is used which makes implantation quick and easy, taking about an hour to complete. Within months, the cartilage matures and integrates with existing cartilage.