Knee Cartilage Repair
A surgeon can use special tools to remove frayed and tattered cartilage and smooth the remaining cartilage surface. This contouring of cartilage reduces joint friction, which in turn can:
Reduce knee pain
Restore knee function
Potentially slow down future cartilage degeneration
The medical term for surgery to reshape knee cartilage is knee chondroplasty—“Chondro” refers to cartilage and “plasty” means to form or mold. Chondroplasty may be performed on a knee’s articular cartilage, meniscus, or both.
Knee chondroplasty is often done in conjunction with debridement. During knee debridement the surgeon removes potential irritants to the joint, such as loose pieces of cartilage, and flushes the joint with a saline solution (lavage).
Knee Cartilage Regeneration
Cartilage tissue’s ability to repair itself is severely limited because it does not contain blood vessels, and bleeding is necessary for healing. A surgeon can encourage new cartilage growth by making small cuts or abrasions in the bone underneath the injured cartilage. The hope is that the blood from the damaged bone will facilitate new cartilage cell growth.