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Articular Cartilage Surgery Knee Or Ankle

If you are considering articular cartilage surgery knee or ankle in China and would like to get know more information about articular cartilage surgery knee or ankle, please complete the inquiry form or email us at

What is Articular Cartilage Restoration?

Articular cartilage is the smooth, white tissue that covers the ends of bones where they come together to form joints. Healthy cartilage in our joints makes it easier to move. It allows the bones to glide over each other with very little friction.

Articular cartilage can be damaged by injury or normal wear and tear. Because cartilage does not heal itself well, doctors have developed surgical techniques to stimulate the growth of new cartilage. Restoring articular cartilage can relieve pain and allow better function. Most importantly, it can delay or prevent the onset of arthritis.

Surgical techniques to repair damaged cartilage are still evolving. It is hoped that as more is learned about cartilage and the healing response, surgeons will be better able to restore an injured joint.

Preparation of Surgery

What should I expect before surgery?

Before surgery, your surgeon will need to find out as much as possible about your knee. In addition to your physical exam, you will need more X-rays and possibly other imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and bone scans. Your surgeon may also need to use an arthroscope (discussed later) to check the lesion's location, size, and depth.

Surgical Procedure

What happens during surgery?

Many types of surgery have been developed for fixing articular cartilage injuries in the knee. When the decision is made to go ahead with surgery, the surgeon will consider whether to do a procedure to restore or to repair the cartilage. A reparative surgery can help fill in the lesion, but it doesn't completely restore the actual makeup and function of the original cartilage. (Sometimes that simply isn't possible given the amount of damage in the knee.) Reparative procedures may provide pain relief and improve knee motion and function.

Your surgeon would ideally like to help your knee return to its natural state, with full function and no pain. This requires restorative surgery, meaning that the end result is a lesion filled to the full depth by tissue identical to the original. Surgeons rely on some fairly new procedures to substitute or replace the original cartilage. One method is to transplant cartilage and underlying bone from a nearby area in the knee joint. Another method is to take some chondrocytes (the primary cells of cartilage) from your knee cartilage, grow them in a laboratory, and then use the newly grown tissue to fill in the lesion at a later date.

The final decision about which surgery to use will be based on your specific injury, age, activity level, and the overall condition of your knee.

Types of Surgery

In general, recovery from an arthroscopic procedure is quicker and less painful than a traditional, open surgery. Your doctor will discuss the options with you to determine what kind of procedure is right for you.

The most common procedures for cartilage restoration are:

  • Microfracture
  • Drilling
  • Abrasion Arthroplasty
  • Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation
  • Osteochondral Autograft Transplantation
  • Osteochondral Allograft Transplantation

After Surgery

What happens after surgery?

After surgery, patients go to the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) for specialized care until they awaken. Then they are either transferred to the nursing unit or released from the hospital. Many of the procedures for treating articular cartilage are done on an outpatient basis, meaning you can leave the hospital the same day.

Since surgeons use different methods when treating articular cartilage lesions in the knee, the instructions patients need to follow after surgery depend on the surgeon and the way the surgery was done.


What might go wrong?

As with all major surgical procedures, complications can occur. This document doesn't provide a complete list of the possible complications, but it does highlight some of the most common problems. Some of the most common complications following articular cartilage surgery are

  • anesthesia complications
  • thrombophlebitis
  • infection
  • hardware failure
  • failure of surgery

If you are considering articular cartilage surgery knee or ankle in China and would like to get know more information about articular cartilage surgery knee or ankle, please complete the inquiry form or email us at