Second-Generation Autologous Minced Cartilage Repair Techniq
Articular cartilage defects at the knee joint are identified and treated with increasing frequency. Autologous chondrocytes may have the strongest potential to generate high-quality repair tissue within the defective region. Autologous chondrocyte implantation is not available in every country. We present a surgical technique where the surgeon can apply autologous chondrocytes in a one-step procedure to treat articular cartilage defects at the knee joint.

Traumatic or degenerative knee joint cartilage defects may lead to the development of premature osteoarthritis. An optimal and individualized treatment protocol has to be performed to return the patient to full activity and prevent general joint degeneration. According to current evidence, large-diameter and also possibly patellar retrosurface cartilage defects should be treated by the use of cell-based repair techniques such as autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI).1 Because ACI is not always available to the surgeon due to several reasons, we here present a technique to apply autologous chondrocytes during a one-step procedure (particulate cartilage fragments) not only for the treatment of large-diameter cartilage defects but also for fresh purely chondral flakes that cannot be refixed. This technique had already been described in the early 1980s,2 it was further developed by different authors, and 2-year data were recently presented by Christensen et al.3

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