This new implant from Zimmer Inc has been available only for a few months, to a limited number of surgeons, and I am pleased to report that my first two patients are doing very well. Chondrofix is an allograft implant- it comes from the tissue bank- that is made in the shape of a plug. It comes in different sizes, is sterilized, and has a long shelf life. Important to many patients, we think this technology is suitable for early walking- say, a week or ten days- and that fact alone makes it very convenient for some potential patients.
All plug type implants require a precision fit to be put in correctly. This is in sharp contrast to Denovo NT, which is more of a gelatin. For this reason, Chondrofix cannot be implanted in out of the way locations.
There are no living cells in the Chondrofix plug. We do not presently know if this will limit its effectiveness, or if the implant will eventually integrate into the living tissue that surrounds it. It will take several years to answer this question.
One of the advantages of Chondrofix is that it can be available and stored. That means the surgeon does not have to specially order it, and there is no harm if is not used. This is in contrast to Carticel and Denovo NT, both of which have to be ordered in advance; if they are not used, they are wasted.