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Can I be treated without Surgery?
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Can I be treated without Surgery?

The short answer is yes – it is possible for you to be treated without surgery. However, the appropriateness of non-operative management will be based on the nature of joint complaint. For example, if you have sustained an acute injury to your knee that has resulted in a loose piece of articular cartilage that is causing mechanical symptoms, then you may not be a candidate for non-operative management. But for the majority of cartilage and joint conditions your healthcare provider will generally have you undergo a trial of non-operative management.

There are a variety of different non-operative interventions that can be used such as life-style modifications (weight loss and no high impact activities), physiotherapy, braces, viscosupplementation, neutraceuticals and platelet-rich plasma to name a few of the options. However, a consultation with your physician is required to identify the exact nature of your cartilage or joint problem and this will allow him/her to formulate an individualized non-operative treatment strategy for your condition.

The decision to proceed with surgery is multifactorial and some of the key issues to be considered are the character (size, location and chronicity) of the defect, prior interventions, the presence of any other concomitant injuries and your overall health.

After careful consultation with your surgeon about the nature of your articular cartilage injury and if appropriate for your injury a trial of non-operative, then the decision to proceed with surgery is generally made. The nature of the surgical procedure will be tailored to your injury and may consist of an arthroscopic surgery, an open procedure, or a combination of the two different procedures.

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