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Cartilage Replacement for Active Individuals

Serving Wiregrass/Wesley Chapel, Tampa, Zephyrhills, and Brandon FL

Cartilage replacement is an innovative solution for knee pain or problems with knee function due to cartilage loss. As its name implies, this procedure aims to replace damaged cartilage with healthy cartilage, allowing the knee joint to glide smoothly and avoiding bone-on-bone contact. Cartilage replacement is a viable option for individuals who have lost knee cartilage due to sudden injury, or gradual deterioration through arthritis.

There are two types of cartilage replacement procedures that can be used to provide needed hyaline cartilage, which is the cartilage that bears weight in-between the thigh and shin bones. Information about these cartilage replacement procedures – osteochondral autograft transfer system (OATS) and autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) – is provided below.


  • Healthy hyaline cartilage is removed from another area of the knee that has minimal need for it.
  • The damaged cartilage in the knee joint is removed.
  • The graft – or grafts, if multiple are needed – of healthy cartilage is implanted where the damaged cartilage was removed, creating a smooth, flat surface.


  • Healthy hyaline cartilage is removed from an area of the knee that has minimal need for it.
  • The sample is sent away to a lab, where it will be used to produce many more cartilage cells through cell culturing.
  • After the culturing is complete (about four to five weeks later), the cells will be sent back to the surgeon.
  • In a second surgery, the surgeon will remove damaged cartilage in the knee and implant the cultured cells in their place so they can form replacement cartilage tissue.

If the cartilage in your knee has been damaged due to an injury or a disease such as arthritis, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ira Guttentag at Florida Medical Orthopaedics, Sports Medicine & Spine. Dr. Guttentag can evaluate your knee and determine whether you’re a candidate for cartilage replacement or other treatments.

Proudly serving Wiregrass/Wesley ChapelTampaZephyrhills, and Brandon FL

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