Abrasion arthroplasty is a surgical procedure to smooth off bits of damaged joint cartilage using a high-speed burr.
The logic of abrasion arthroplasty
The word 'arthroplasty' means 'reshaping of the joint'. 'Abrasion' means to 'grind down'. So an abrasion arthroplasty sounds like a surgical procedure to reshape the joint by grinding down the damaged surface. However, the procedure is now considered to be one of the 'marrow stimulation' procedures whereby the abrading leads to the release of mesenchymal stem cells from the underlying bone marrow, and that these have the potential to repair to some extent the damaged cartilage.
Arthroscopic abrasion arthroplasty: a review. Johnson LL. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2001 Oct;(391 Suppl):S306-17.
Abrasion arthroplasty increases mesenchymal stem cell content of postoperative joint effusions. Beckmann R. Lippross S, Hartz C, Tohidnezhad M, Ventura Ferreira MS, Neuss-Stein S, Seekamp A, Nebelung S, Kweider N, Rath B, Jahr H, Pufe T and Varoga DJ. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2015; 16: 250.
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