Your Cartilage: The Next Generation

Procedures aimed at regenerating worn-out joints could help you avoid the need for replacement.

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As the Baby Boom generation gets older and lives longer, more active lives, surgeons are being challenged to find effective ways to re-establish normal joint function for this burgeoning demographic. Although conventional wisdom might say that people in their 60s should forget about techniques aimed at regenerating cartilage, such decisions should be "highly individualized," says John Bergfeld, MD, director of Cleveland Clinic Sports Health. "Some people in their 40s have joints that are completely worn out, whereas someone in their 60s or 70s might just have a localized area of the joint thats affected," Dr. Bergfeld says. "Age doesnt determine the condition of your joints. You can be 80 or 90 with relatively healthy joints, and be a potential candidate for these procedures."
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