Articular hyaline cartilage is avascular tissue that provides joints with a low-friction and wear-resistant surface that provides shock absorption and high-load-bearing capabilities.4 Unfortunately, this tissue has limited regenerative capacity due to the absence of blood vessels and the low mitogenic potency of the chondrocytes. When treating cartilage defects and chondral lesions, surgeons have traditionally performed microfracture surgery to replace and create new cartilage on the articular surface.
The problem is that the cartilage created as a result of microfracture is not the same as the patient’s native hyaline cartilage. Studies have shown that the main tissue formed after microfracture is fibrocartilage1,2, which does not dissipate compressive force to the same degree as the original hyaline cartilage. As a result, this production of fibrocartilage may have an effect on durability and eventual failure.1 In fact, many researchers have observed that the long term results after microfracture are poor,2 with studies showing poor outcomes after 48 months.3
Cartilage Allograft Matrix (CAM) is a solution which produces hyaline-like cartilage in articulating joint spaces when used with the microfracture technique in treating small chondral lesions. Current practices promote using the microfracture technique to address cartilage defects which leads to the buildup of fibrocartilage in the joint space. In using a cartilage allograft to supplement the microfracture procedure, the cartilage particles interact with the marrow infiltration in the defect space from the microfracture. This marrow infiltration brings the cells necessary to interact with the cartilage allograft to produce hyaline-like cartilage in the defect space.
CartiMax is a Viable Cartilage Allograft used for treating cartilage lesions in the knee, foot, and ankle. New from MTF Biologics, CartiMax combines the clinical benefits of live, viable cartilage cells with putty-like handling properties designed to easily fill defects of different shapes and sizes. The combination of CartiMax and Cartilage Allograft Matrix eliminates the need for microfractures in patients with cartilage lesions in the knee, foot, and ankle.