Osteochondral Defects

Articular or hyaline cartilage is the tissue lining the surface of the two bones in the knee joint. Cartilage helps the bones move smoothly against each other and can withstand the weight of the body during activities such as running and jumping. Articular cartilage does not have a direct blood supply to it, so it has less capacity to repair itself. Once the cartilage is torn, it won’t heal easily and can lead to degeneration of the articular surface, which can in turn lead to development of osteoarthritis.

The damage in articular cartilage can affect people of all ages. It can be damaged by trauma from an accident or a mechanical injury from a fall, or from degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis) that often occurs in older people.

Patients with articular cartilage damage experience symptoms such as joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and a decrease in range of motion of the knee. Damaged cartilage needs to be replaced with healthy cartilage; the procedure is known as cartilage replacement. This surgical procedure to replace the worn-out cartilage is usually performed on patients who have limited areas of cartilage damage, usually caused by sports or traumatic injuries. It is not recommended for those patients who have advanced arthritis of the knee.

Cartilage replacement helps relieve pain and restore normal function, and can delay or prevent the onset of arthritis. The goal of cartilage replacement procedures is to stimulate growth of new hyaline cartilage. Various arthroscopic procedures involved in cartilage replacement include:

  • Microfracture
  • Drilling
  • Abrasion Arthroplasty
  • Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (ACI)
  • Osteochondral Autograft Transplantation

MedSport Locations

Ann Arbor Domino's Farms
4008 Ave Maria Dr
Lobby A, Suite 1000
Ann Arbor, MI 48106.
734-930-7400

Ann Arbor Ice Cube
2121 Oak Valley Dr
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
734-998-8600

Brighton Center for Specialty Care
7500 Challis Rd, Brighton MI 48116
810-263-4000

Northville Health Center
39901 Traditions Drive
Suite 110
Northville, MI 48168
877-877-9333