Unlike bone tissue, cartilage has more limited ability to regenerate and repair itself. When articular cartilage in the knees and other joints becomes damaged or diseased, surgery is the only way to repair the cartilage and mitigate deterioration. During articular cartilage surgery, an orthopedic surgeon may use an arthroscope to survey the joint and cut away damaged tissue, or repair the joint with allografts or autografts. In the US, the cost of articular cartilage surgery is around $25,000, or £7,000 in the UK. Patients can save money by finding an experienced orthopedic surgeon overseas.
In Mexico and Argentina, articular cartilage surgery only costs around $6,000 or £4,000. Orthopedic surgeons in Latin America are trained in using the latest imaging devices and precision surgical tools. This means doctors can perform surgery with minimal invasion, thereby reducing the risk of complications. Many doctors in Latin America have studied medicine in the US and UK, and most doctors speak English. Before articular cartilage surgery, the doctor will carefully examine the patient's knee or ankle joint to determine the best course of treatment. They can either use allograft tissue (from donors) or autograft tissue (from the patient) to replace damaged cartilage. Total recovery time is one or two days, but patients can easily their stay, as food and lodging are quite inexpensive.
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