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Forum Name: Joint surgery

Question: Carticel procedure


 spill - Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:33 pm

I have been suffering from ongoing pain in my right knee now for a year. I am currently 25 and very active (running 25-30 miles a week). Back in 1/09 I was diagnosed with a stress fracture of the medial tibial plateau after my first MRI. A second MRI in 4/09 showed that the stress fracture was healed. Due to ongoing pain, catching and popping my orthopod finally agreed to do arthroscopy on 9/3/09. Much to his surprise (but not mine) he found a tear in the articular cartilage on the medial femoral condoyle. The lesion was grade 3/4 and measured 16mm x 20mm. He woke me up during the procedure to ask me if I would prefer he do a microfracture procedure or the Carticel procedure. Knowing nothing about either, I left the decision up to him and he decided that he thought Carticel would be the better choice. I have done my research about the procedure, and am currently waiting on insurance pre-approval, but would like to hear any input from others who have had experience with this procedure, either patients or doctors. Successes, failures, difficulties, recovery? Is it possible to make a full recovery?

Also, I can't seem to get a straight answer about whether or not it is safe to run on my knee in the meantime. It is healing from the arthroscopy (four weeks out) quite well with just a little swelling remaining and less pain than before the procedure. I don't want to cause further damage, but if it is possible to get some running in before the Carticel procedure, I would like to get some variety rather than biking every day.

Thanks!
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:55 pm

User avatar Hello,
I would hold on the running. Non impact aerobic exercise at this point is the best way to keep your fitness level up.
I would also do some open chain leg strengthening i.e. straight leg raising with ankle weights to maintain strength prior to surgery.
I have known runners who have continued running after chondral defect repair but not specifically for the Carticel procedure.

Take care.

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