Dr. Madis Rahu, an orthopaedic surgeon and one of the owners of the largest private clinic in Estonia that offers orthopaedic treatment, the Hospital of Orthopaedics, performed a cartilage restoration surgery using microfracturing and collagen matrix. The unique surgery was successful and the condition of the patient is good.

“As far as we know, this is the first case in Estonia where cartilage damage has been treated with such modern methods as microfracturing combined with collagen matrix. Usually, joint cartilage does not restore fully and this is why patients with cartilage damage or defect are often advised to change their lifestyle in terms of physical activity. The surgery performed by us facilitates the creation of cartilage-like tissue that gives people, and in particular younger patients, a new opportunity,” Dr. Madis Rahu, the orthopaedic surgeon that performed the new procedure, explains.

Currently, there are three main directions in the surgical treatment of cartilage damage. First, there is microfracturing, the most commonly used treatment method for cartilage damage; however, it is difficult to direct the results of this treatment. It is not possible to control which tissue will cover the defect and to what extent. The second method is the implantation of the patient’s cartilage cells to the defected area but this procedure does not always give the best results and requires several surgeries to be performed. The third method is osteochondral autologous transplantation, which has its own restrictions and results in pain in the donor region (where the tissues to be implanted are taken from).

Because of the listed weaknesses, the so-called matrix materials are presently being taken into use. During the surgery performed by Dr. Rahu, microfracturing was initially performed and thereafter the cartilage defect was covered by Chondro-Gide® collagen matrix, which facilitates the creation of cartilage-like tissue and helps to prevent the creation of undesirable additional tissue on the defect.

“We are constantly learning new orthopaedic treatments and introducing innovative procedures. The role of the private sector is to lead in new solutions because the public sector is dependent on the efficiency-orientated financing of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund. The performed collagen matrix surgery is an available service for which the patient has to pay 1,995 euros. However, we hope that the innovative treatment gives at least some active young people their opportunity to improve their quality of life,” Dr Armin Heiman, the clinical director of the Hospital of Orthopaedics, explains.

Detailed information about the procedures, treatments and appointments is available on the home page of the private clinic of the Hospital of Orthopaedics at www.ortopeediaarstid.ee. Please feel free to ask for additional information or make an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon by telephone at 606 7747.