This new edition of my web site contains information dating back some years, when the options for cartilage repair were more limited. One of the purposes of the journal section is to keep you updated about new developments.
Two exciting new products are now available thru the efforts of Zimmer Inc. I have visited the Zimmer Biologics HQ in Austin, Texas and have high confidence in the team that is bringing these new technologies into clinical practice.
Both products are based upon allograft, which is a gift of tissue from cadaver donors. The Denovo NT graft is composed of living juvenile cartilage. The Chondrofix implant is a plug of both cartilage and bone, derived from healthy cartilage of patients under 40 years old. (note: until later on this year, only a small group of orthopedic surgeons has access to Chondrofix). Like all things in medicine, there are pros and cons of each product, but they share some commonalities: they are 1/10th or less the cost of ACI (Carticel), and either technique can be done in one surgery. One of my goals over the last decade has been to see cartilage repair done more often and less expensively, and these two products are showing us the way.
In the future, cartilage repair should be performed whenever there is significant cartilage damage. That is not yet standard- in fact, many patients are seen when it is too late to make a difference. In order to bring cartilage repair to the general public, we need more tools- tools like Denovo NT and Chondrofix. More on these later.