Cartilage Restoration Overview

Shoulder osteoarthritis is a fairly common condition that occurs as the result of the natural aging process or an injury to the joint. The shoulder condition can become debilitating for certain patients, with severe pain, stiffness and swelling affecting everyday and athletic activities. Since arthritis is a progressive disease with no cure, it is important patients living in the greater Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens & NYC communities contact Dr. Jonathan Ticker at the onset of symptoms. Dr. Ticker specializes in various cartilage restoration and joint preservation techniques designed to ease arthritis symptoms, return patients to the activities they enjoy and eliminate or prolong the need for a total shoulder replacement.

An injury to the shoulder’s articular cartilage can occur with or without arthritis. An injury without arthritis is more prevalent in younger, active patients involved in athletic activities that require repetitive movements. Articular cartilage damage in older adults is often associated with osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by the gradual deterioration of cartilage and the development of exposed bone. The shoulder condition causes overall joint discomfort as the bones rub against each other during movements from a lack of articular cartilage.

Patients with mild cases of shoulder arthritis may find symptom relief with non-surgical measures such as rest, a physical therapy program and anti-inflammatory medications. In more severe cases, Dr. Ticker may recommend a surgical cartilage restoration and joint preservation procedure to alleviate symptoms and to help stop the progression of the condition. He will determine the appropriate procedure based on symptom severity, patient’s age, patient’s activity level and type and extent of cartilage damage.

Patients who present small lesions with partial fraying or partial loss of cartilage are typically ideal candidates for shoulder arthroscopy, debridement and chondroplasty. This minimally invasive surgical procedure utilizes a series of tiny incisions in the shoulder joint so Dr. Ticker can remove loose pieces of cartilage, as well as stabilize the joint so the lesion or cartilage loss does not become more substantial. This cartilage restoration and joint preservation technique may also require him to release the joint capsule and remove any inflamed joint lining or bone spurs.

Patients who present a full thickness loss of cartilage with good surrounding cartilage may be an ideal candidate for Microfracture. Microfracture requires Dr. Ticker to create tiny holes in the damaged bone to release marrow and other healing agents. Once the holes are created, marrow will seep out, fill the damaged area, form a blood clot and regrow fibrocartilage over the exposed bone. The overall goal of this cartilage restoration and joint preservation technique is to restore and regrow tissue similar to a patient’s lost articular cartilage.

Cartilage Restoration and Joint Preservation Recovery and Rehabilitation

Depending on the procedure performed by Dr. Ticker, patients may be required to wear a sling or similar device for several weeks to help protect the repair and immobilize the joint. A detailed physical therapy program will be prescribed immediately following surgery, and is designed to restore joint motion and function while strengthening the surrounding muscles.

Cartilage Restoration and Joint Preservation Recovery Time

Recovery time following a cartilage restoration and joint preservation procedure varies for each patient depending on severity of cartilage damage, amount of correction performed during the procedure and the type of procedure performed by Dr. Ticker. Dr. Ticker and his orthopedic team will provide a detailed plan for a full return to athletic and normal activities to each patient prior to surgery.

For additional information on cartilage restoration and joint preservation procedures, please contact Dr. Jonathan Ticker, orthopedic shoulder surgeon serving the greater Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens & NYC communities.