The first ever surgical regenerative method, cartilage transplantation (autologous chondrocyte implantation, ACI) was developed by Peterson and Brittberg in Sweden more than twenty years ago as a method of repairing cartilage injuries. The treatment involves removing cartilage cells from healthy cartilage using minimally invasive surgery, culturing and harvesting the cells in the lab, and transplanting them into the injured knee after four to six weeks once as many active cells as needed have grown.
The surgical method has since been under continuous development and optimisation; Professor Steinwachs from our group was actively involved in the treatment’s development and still conducts research in the area. Professor Steinwachs also played a leading part in including cartilage transplantation in the Swiss medical fee schedule in 2017.
This allows us to offer our patients a whole range of modern surgical techniques for cartilage injury and damage, while our high degree of specialisation also places us in a position to provide the best possible treatment options for any specific case.
Currently, cartilage regeneration methods are often combined with PRP or PRGF treatments.
Various cartilage reconstructions benefit from bioactive factors in PRP, while PRGF stimulates hyaluronic acid production in the mucous membranes on the joint.
PRP influences cell modulation in cartilage regeneration, and activates the mesenchymal stem cells towards forming cartilage cells; TGFβ and FGF help improve homeostasis in the cartilage.