Surgical treatment for early osteoarthritis. Part I: cartilage repair procedures.

Surgical treatment for early osteoarthritis. Part I: cartilage repair procedures.

ABSTRACT

Young patients with early osteoarthritis (OA) represent a challenging population due to a combination of high functional demands and limited treatment options. Conservative measures such as injection and physical therapy can provide short-term pain relief but are only palliative in nature. Joint replacement, a successful procedure in the older population, is controversial in younger patients, who are less satisfied and experience higher failure rates. Therefore, while traditionally not indicated for the treatment of OA, cartilage repair has become a focus of increased interest due to its potential to provide pain relief and alter the progression of degenerative disease, with the hope of delaying or obviating the need for joint replacement. This review of cartilage repair techniques will discuss currently available procedures, specifically pertaining to experiences in the setting of early OA. Level of evidence IV.