Vol. 118 No. 2 (2013)
Original Article

Current concepts in the treatment of cartilage damage. A review

Published 2013-08-05


  • osteoarthritis,
  • cartilage,
  • tissue engeneering,
  • scaffold,
  • chondrocytes

How to Cite

Musumeci, G., Loreto, C., Castorina, S., Imbesi, R., Leonardi, R., & Castrogiovanni, P. (2013). Current concepts in the treatment of cartilage damage. A review. Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology, 118(2), 189–203. Retrieved from https://oajournals.fupress.net/index.php/ijae/article/view/1173


A literature review of the treatment of cartilage defects was conducted, examining the current literature on the well-known treatments. In particular, advantages and drawbacks of each of the discussed treatments were evaluated considering outcomes available in literature. The literature search was conducted on PubMed and Scopus using appropriate keywords in relation to cartilage defects. Main research articles were selected for review. Cartilage damage affects thousands of persons each year; they are treated with implants and surgery. A major problem in the treatment of cartilage defects is the inability of cartilage to repair, which reduces the effectiveness of the treatment. In addition, cyclic loading of joints further degrades cartilage even after treatment. In relation to the conditions of cartilage lesions and the features of patients, a specific treatment is required in each case. Current treatments are often unpredictable in results but result in long term improvements for many patients, especially young patients. The well established treatments such as osteochondral implants, bone marrow stimulation techniques, chondrogenic cell implantations have advantages and drawbacks, so that the search has not been interrupted for new strategies, such as scaffold materials. In this review we describe benefits and disadvantages of the established methods of cartilage regeneration that seem to have a better long-term effectiveness.