• Question: is it possible to live comfortably with a cartilage substitute?

    Asked by efiafi to Aled, Willem on 21 Mar 2014.
    • Photo: Aled Roberts

      Aled Roberts answered on 21 Mar 2014:

      Hey Efiafi

      Unfortunately, a cartilage replacement procedure is not as simple a task as we would hope. Cartilage cells can be cloned and reproduced in a lab. The real problem arises when we want to place those cells in a particular location, and get them to function effectively in that area. Cartilage is a complex tissue; in order for cartilage to function it must be able to withstand tremendous forces. Simply injecting cartilage into a joint would serve no useful purpose, those cells would be destroyed in a short time. So unfortunately I don’t think there is a viable substitute available at the moment! BUT… with advances in modern medicine it might not be too long for that breakthrough 🙂

      Hope that answers your question 🙂 Don’t forget to vote 🙂

    • Photo: Willem Heijltjes

      Willem Heijltjes answered on 21 Mar 2014:

      Hi Efiafi!

      As Aled hints at, we currently don’t have a good substitute for the natural cartilage of your body. Replacing a joint with one made of metal and plastic is really a last resort, at the moment. So it is used only on people who would otherwise not be able to walk, for example. So for these people, it is usually a big improvement, and most are quite comfortable with it!