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If a focally limited osteochondral (cartilage-bone) defect with intact surrounding tissue in the weightbearing area of the knee joint (defect size up to a maximum of 3 square centimetres) is evident, the transplantation of one or more autologous cartilage-bone cylinders from a non-weightbearing area of the knee joint presents a good therapeutic option. This technique is performed on the knee, ankle, shoulder and elbow.
Very large bone-cartilage defects in the main weightbearing area of the femoral condyles can be covered by a cartilage-bone disc from the posterior part of the knee joint (posterior condyle transfer).
The knee joint can be divided into medial, lateral and patellofemoral compartments. If there is a complete loss of cartilage in only one of the three compartments, it is called unicompartmental arthritis. The above-mentioned therapeutic procedures are therefore no longer an option. If the other two compartments display healthy cartilage, it is not necessary to replace the entire knee joint. If there is an accompanying malalignment of the leg axis, a surgical correction and realignment to offload the diseased compartment can relieve the symptoms. In certain cases we carry out a partial joint replacement.