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The global knee cartilage repair market is expected to be driven by high incidence of knee injury and the demand for effective treatment solutions. Further, advancements in treatment systems enabling modern and effective solutions are expected to boost the market. North America, Europe and Asia Pacific are projected to be major markets.
The tissue that covers the adjoining bone surfaces of the knee and forms a smooth surface for mobility is known as articular or hyaline cartilage. Because of direct injury to the knee, articular cartilage may get damaged, resulting in swelling, stiffness, locking, and limited movement. Articular cartilage has limited capacity for self-repair. The word "osteoarthritis (OA)" refers to the generalised wearing out of cartilage, however, all cartilage injury is a part of the osteoarthritis process. Cartilage acts as a cushion between the bones of joints; it holds bones together, reduces friction and supports the weight of the body during running, bending and stretching.
Cartilage is of three types. The most spongy and flexible type of cartilage is elastic cartilage (yellow cartilage). The outside of the ears and a portion of the nose are made of elastic cartilage. Fibrocartilage is the hardest cartilage kind, capable of withstanding enormous loads. It's present between the spine's discs and vertebrae, as well as the hip and pelvis' bones. Hyaline cartilage (articular cartilage), found between the ribs, around the windpipe, and between the joints, is spongy, robust, and flexible.
Unlike other types of tissue, cartilage does not have a blood supply, thus, damaged cartilage takes much longer to heal, compared with other tissues that are supplied by blood. Joint discomfort, stiffness, and inflammation may indicate cartilage degradation. Because cartilage does not effectively self-heal, surgical procedures to encourage the creation of new cartilage have been devised. Articular cartilage restoration can help reduce discomfort and improve function. It can also delay or prevent the beginning of arthritis.
Treatments to repair knee cartilage include:
Arthroscopic Debridement – Employed when damage to the cartilage is relatively less. It includes cleaning up of loose tissue.
Microfracture – A surgical procedure carried out to treat damaged cartilage areas. It entails stimulating new cartilage growth in patients with small areas of damaged cartilage by piercing the subchondral bone.
Autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) – Usually performed on younger patients. The two-step process is carried out over several weeks to complete. The first step entails extraction of healthy cartilage cells from a non-weight bearing area of the knee, which is cloned and developed in the laboratory for 6 – 8 weeks. The newly grown cells are then implanted into the deficient area through a surgical procedure.
Articular cartilage repair: Matrix-induced autologous chondrocyte implantation (MACI) – An advancement of the ACI approach. Healthy cartilage cells are extracted from the patient, then expanded and seeded in a collagen matrix; these are then re-implanted into the cartilage defect.
Osteochondral Autograft Transplantation (Mosaicplasty) – A single step procedure, that entails harvesting of a piece of healthy tissue and bone from an unaffected, non-weight bearing site, and planting it to replace the damaged area. When several such pieces or ‘plugs’ are used, the outcome resembles a mosaic pattern. This is why the term mosaicplasty is used.
Major firms such as Stryker Corporation, Smith and Nephew, Vericel Corporation provide treatment solutions for joint problems. In 2017, Vericel Corporation announced the first MACI implant in USA to repair symptomatic single or multiple full-thickness cartilage defects of the knee with or without bone involvement in adults. Smith and Nehphew offer CARGEL Bioscaffold - an easy, ready-to-use product employed in a single-step bone marrow stimulation procedure to provide superior cartilage repair. ProChondrix CR by Stryker is a cryopreserved, fresh osteochondral allograft with live cells and other biological elements. The solution has been designed to repair damaged cartilage tissue, and can be employed in several orthopedic reconstructive processes to assist in the repair of articular cartilage.
Market Analysis by Modality, Treatment Type, End-user, and Region:
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