The articular cartilage is a complex tissue that covers all joint surfaces in our bodies. It is just like the white, shiny, slippery gristle that covers the end of a chicken leg; white, because it has no blood supply; shiny, because its surface is smooth; and slippery, because it is covered with joint lining fluid. This elegantly designed surface is what wears as we develop arthritis. It can also be acutely injured, leading to “chondral defects” or “osteochondral lesions,” which have previously been permanent flaws in the joint left by injury. This poorly vascularized tissue does not heal spontaneously, so routine repair surgery is rarely successful. Fortunately, the treatment of articular cartilage is an exciting topic in musculoskeletal medicine, with new procedures on the horizon. Treatment options have become numerous for cartilage restoration but they must be tailoredyou’re your unique needs. It is crucial to have experienced and knowledgeable physicians making your treatment decisions based on your activity level, your goals, and even the precise location and size of your injured tissue.

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These lists are not inclusive of all conditions and procedures. In order to obtain a complete and accurate diagnosis, a physician should assess your individual situation. Following diagnosis, your physician will discuss appropriate treatment options with you – both surgical and non-surgical. Schedule an appointment with an Orthopedic ONE physician.