• Sports Med Analytics

Different Ways to Regenerate Cartilage

Cartilage is the flexible and strong substance that allows the bones of adults to move against each other. Adults will have no problems for several decades until there is an injury. Even though we work hard to protect our bones, cartilage tends to become damaged over time. And even worse, it can not heal or regrow on its own due to it not having blood vessels. So, red blood cells can not get to it.


With these issues, knees, shoulders, and other areas can experience various levels of pain because there will be a loss of cushion between the joints. However, there are ways to regenerate cartilage. The following includes various ways to regenerate it:


1. Cell Therapies

There are many people who have gotten successful treatment of stem cell therapies and platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Doctors use the patient's own immune system to influence the healing and regrowth of cartilage. The minimally invasive procedure includes the sculpting of the cartilage with special tools that joint friction. Then, debridement occurs which is flushing out the joint of any loose bits left.


2. Physical Therapy

There are various stretches and exercises physical therapists will do to strengthen the cartilage, ligaments, bones, and muscles.


3. Surgery may be Necessary in Some Cases.

These cases tend to be extreme and recommended when the cartilage is frayed or torn. Doctors can repair cartilage with a minimally invasive procedure, they may use bone tissue to stimulate new growth, or they may transplant cartilage. For minimally invasive procedures, doctors will use special tools for chondroplasty, i.e., shaping the cartilage with tools to minimize joint friction. Then, they will use debridement which is to flush out the joint of any loose bits left.


Please note that cartilage regeneration works best for patients under 40 who have relatively recent, minor cartilage injuries. Transplanting, repair, and regeneration treatments are not recommended for others with extensive cartilage damage from osteoarthritis.


4. Taking Certain Supplements

There are various supplements you can take for cartilage regeneration. However, you should consult the doctor before taking supplements. These supplements are Chondroitin Sulfate, Glucosamine, and other dietary supplements. Taking specific amounts alone or together works well as adjunct therapies for cartilage damage. These supplements assist in stimulating chondrocytes to make new proteoglycans and collagen.


5. Eating more of Certain Healthy Foods

Some foods are amazing for strengthening ligaments, bones, cartilage, and muscles. These foods include foods enriched with vitamin D, such as certain fish, eggs, and mushrooms. Foods with calcium, vitamin K, and potassium also helps. Some vitamin K foods include liver, broccoli, mustard greens, and Brussels sprouts. Some foods loaded with potassium include bananas, cooked spinach, potatoes, and grapefruit.


6. Changing other Habits for a Healthier Lifestyle

Other lifestyle choices could be made for overall better health, including cartilage healing. These choices include losing weight, avoid long sitting or standing, low impact exercising, stretching, rest, use heat/cold therapy, or use assistive devices, like splints, braces, and cans.


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