Chondral (Articular Cartilage/ Joint Cartilage) 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 has less capacity to repair itself. Once the cartilage is torn it will not heal easily and can lead to degeneration of the articular surface, leading to development of osteoarthritis.
How is the joint damaged?
The damage in articular cartilage can affect people of all ages. It can be damaged by trauma such as accidents, mechanical injury such as a fall, or from degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis) occurring in older people.
What are the symptoms of joint damage?
Patients with articular cartilage damage experience symptoms such as joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and a decrease in range of motion of the knee.
What can be done for joint damage?
Damage to the joint cartilage is difficult to treat successfully because the articular cartilage heals poorly. It remains one of the most challenging tissues to heal and repair.
Hopwever various arthroscopic procedures can be performed to improve the chondral surface:
- Autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI)
- Osteochondral Autograft Transplantation