Sunday, 6 September 2009
The bad news about Johan Djourou’s knee means that he is going to be out of action for around 6 months. I suspect the problem with Johan’s knee is an osteochondral defect, I shall try to explain this to those of you without the medical knowledge. An osteochondral defect means an area where the smooth joint lining, the cartilage, has been damaged, this is different to the meniscus of the knee which is the cup shaped bits which are made of fibrocartilage.
If Johan had torn his meniscus then one would expect him to have it tidied up with key hole surgery and he’d be back relatively quickly. Either he is having a repair to his meniscus which would take a lot longer to get back to football from, or he has an area of damaged cartilage, an osteochondral defect. There are different treatments for osteochondral defects and none of them are perfect by any means.
One can try to regrow a sort of cartilage in the hole by ‘microfracture’ treatment, one can transplant cartilage from the patient or from elsewhere, plus there are some emerging stem cell treatments. All require a substantial period of rehabilitation to allow the new cartilage to bed down as it were. Good luck and a speedy recovery Johan, it’s a shame to lose such a talented young player when he was showing such signs of developing into a very solid centre back.