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Top Cartilage Restoration Orthopedic Doctor in Florida

Complex Cartilage

Cartilage is your body’s primary connective tissue, and one of its most vital. One of the main roles it plays is as a connector in all of your joints, from the wrists and elbows to the ankles and knees. Cartilage is flexible and strong, but any number of traumas or conditions can cause it to tear. In some cases, that tear shows multiple patterns, and will be considered “complex.” Complex cartilage tears are notoriously difficult to treat, but new, cutting-edge techniques have opened the doors for doctors to repair damaged cartilage and help patients recover their full functionality.

Dr Vonda Wright, MD, MS, FAOA is a double-board certified orthopedic sports medicine doctor who is experienced in treating even the most serious complex cartilage injuries, including those that require cartilage restoration surgery. Dr. Wright takes a comprehensive approach to musculoskeletal wellness that harnesses innovative surgical and orthobiologic techniques, and she is passionate about staying on the forefront of biotech to help her patients achieve the best outcomes possible.

If you’re ready to receive state-of-the-art care from one of the top orthopedic specialists in the nation, it’s time to schedule a visit with Dr. Wright. Click below and use our online scheduling tool to request your first appointment today.

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Expert Orthobiologic Orthopedic Care

Treatment for Osteochondral Defects & Cartilage Tears

Osteochondral defects, or osteochondral lesions, occur when cartilage that is attached to the bones of a joint becomes torn or otherwise damaged. In a case of osteochondral defect, ankles and knees are the most commonly affected joint, though the cartilage of any joint can be damaged in this way. When they affect the knee, osteochondral defects often happen between the thigh bone and the shin bone, whereas in the ankle, these defects often happen on the talus bone where your foot meets your leg.

Many osteochondral defects begin with a smaller injury, such as a strain or sprain. Symptoms of a serious osteochondral defect include:

  • Pain in the joint during regular activity
  • Swelling in the joint during regular activity
  • Consistent aching
  • A “loose” or unstable feeling in the joint
  • A “clicking” feeling in the affected joint

Osteochondral defect treatment generally involves a surgical procedure that is designed to repair, restore, or even replace the damaged cartilage. As part of her practice, Dr. Wright is interested in offering her patients the least invasive, most technologically forward techniques available, several of which involve the use of orthobiologics

Frequently Asked Questions

Can orthobiologic treatment be used to assist in cartilage restoration?

Yes! Orthobiologics is an exciting field of biotech that may offer patients less invasive procedures and better outcomes than traditional surgical solutions. Dr. Wright can employ orthobiologic techniques such as platelet-rich plasma injections, TenJet, and MACI to help patients recover from complex cartilage injuries.

What is MACI surgery?

MACI surgery stands for Matrix-induced Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation, and Dr. Wright typically employs it to treat complex cartilage injuries in the knee. Here’s how MACI knee surgery works:

  • Dr. Wright and her team will perform a biopsy of the affected cartilage using a tiny, minimally-invasive camera called an arthroscope. 
  • During the biopsy, Dr. Wright will collect a small part of your own (autologous) cartilage.
  • She will then send the sample to a laboratory, where technicians will take cells and grow them into healthy, usable cartilage.
  • Once the cartilage sample is ready, Dr. Wright and her team will cut it into the shape of your defect and implant it into the empty space. 
  • Your body will recognize its own cartilage cells and begin to grow and strengthen it through your recovery period.

By using your own cartilage cells to grow a healthy implant, MACI helps reduce the likelihood that your body will reject the implant, and accelerates the recovery process.

Why is it important to treat a complex cartilage injury as soon as possible?

One of the most dangerous aspects of a complex cartilage injury is the fact that without treatment, it can become progressively worse. The longer a complex cartilage tear or osteochondral defect goes untreated, the more difficult it will become to repair.

How can I get started with the best orthopedic specialist near me?

When you’re ready to find relief and return to peak performance in whatever you do, Dr. Vonda Wright is ready to help you meet your goals. Use our online tool to schedule your first appointment with Dr. Wright, or contact her Orlando office at (407) 965-4114.