CARTIVA artificial cartilage

Unlike joint fusion, Cartiva artificial cartilage eliminates joint pain while maintaining joint mobility and range of motion.

The first in Croatia

The procedure of artificial cartilage implantation is one of the latest technological innovations in the treatment of arthritic changes. Find out more!

The knuckles are created to move, especially the big toe, which provides the propulsive force needed to walk and run. Unlike the fusion of a joint that jams the joint in one position, artificial cartilage allows the joint to move in a natural way, thus maintaining the mobility and range of motion of the joint.

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The thumb joint, which you can feel on your foot as a lump just below it, is called the first metatarsophalangeal joint (I. MTF joint). Due to the fact that this joint represents one of the three points of static load on your foot (shown in the picture), it is often the site of osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a joint condition in which due to damage to the cartilage tissue that covers both joint bodies, changes occur such as narrowing of the joint crack (reduced distance between the joint bodies), reduced range of passive and active movement, changes in surrounding bone tissue (cysts or bone thorns called osteophytes). ), and all of them together cause pain and loss of functionality in the joint.

The limitations that arise directly depend on the degree of damage to the articular cartilage, which acts like a pad that reduces friction between the articular bodies. The more damaged and smaller the cartilage in circumference, the greater and more traumatic the contact between the bones that make up the joint. The static and dynamic load on your foot changes at the expense of the surrounding structures, which are then also inadequately loaded, initiating a whole cascade of events that ultimately lead to significant worsening of symptoms and great difficulty in normal daily functioning.

In the picture, three points are rounded along which the directions of static load of the foot are formed. The previously mentioned metatarsophalangeal joint of the thumb (MTF joint) is rounded in red.

In the most severe cases, surgical treatment is applied, which includes “stiffening” of the joint (arthrodesis), after which you completely lose the range of motion and functionality in the big toe.


The biggest advantage of artificial cartilage is its durability, which eliminates the possibility of rejection by our body. The indication for the implantation of artificial cartilage is the advanced stage of arthrosis, in which the articular cartilage is destroyed. Artificial cartilage Cartiva is used to treat arthritic changes of the big toe, but also the hand. So, instead of “stiffening” the thumb, it is now possible to preserve mobility after this type of intervention

As an institution that always keeps pace with the latest medical trends, we are the first in this part of Europe to offer you a simple and long-term effective solution for you – the installation of artificial cartilage CARTIVA.

Artificial cartilage is made from a biocompatible, durable, slippery organic polymer, which behaves similarly to natural cartilage. The material is the same as that of contact lenses and mimics the natural characteristics of the joint.

Using special tools and techniques, artificial cartilage is implanted. It has a smooth surface and withstands loads well. It stays in place without the use of cement or glue, and the whole process takes 25-35 minutes.

The first such cartilage in mid-January 2020. implanted in the thumb of a 78-year-old patient a surgical team led by the director of the Ribnjak Polyclinic, Dr. med. Milan Milošević,

From the media: Andrej Vujinović – I walked with a cane, and now I can run!

A pensioner from Zagreb, 77-year-old Andrej Vujinović, is the first patient in Croatia and this part of Europe to have artificial cartilage implanted in his big toe. He now lives without pain and has fully recovered.

Read our press release here


No special preparation is required for the procedure.

In addition to the examination by an orthopedic specialist, an X-ray of the foot is also required. The procedure is performed under regional anesthesia and lasts approximately 30 to 40 minutes. You are discharged to home care approximately two hours after the procedure. Recovery after surgery is very quick and only takes a few weeks. There is no need to lie down, and walking is enabled by the so-called. “orthopedic half-shoe”. Physical therapy after the procedure under the control of your operator is a guarantee of an excellent final result.


As with any surgical procedure, complications that occur mainly include swelling, postoperative pain and the like. The success of the application of this method is up to 50% higher compared to classical surgical methods. The experience of the operator and setting the correct indication for the procedure are crucial in successful treatment. Contact us with full confidence!

If you are interested in this type of treatment and you think that you are a potential candidate for this type of treatment, call us on 01 5510 832 or contact us at our e-mail info@poliklinikaribnjak.hr. Our staff led by Dr. Milosevic will answer all your questions.

Animated depiction of artificial cartilage implantation


From other sources on this topic

Improperly fused fractures are one of the most common complications of fractures themselves.

In short

Polyclinic Ribnjak is a unique institution in the Republic of Croatia. It unites different branches of medicine, all in order to stay true to its slogan “Health and Beauty. Together”. Orthopedics, advanced sports diagnostics, functional and kinesiological rehabilitation, cosmetic surgery and treatments are the services we provide on a daily basis, professionally and in accordance with the latest professional standards.


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