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Articular Cartilage or Joint Surface Injury

Arthroscopic Picture - Joint Surface Damage to Medial Femoral Condyle

Arthroscopic picture showing significant area of joint surface damage to medial femoral condyle.

Traumatic or Acute Injury

An injury to the joint surface may occur with any trauma to the knee. When a fragment of cartilage breaks free this causes severe pain, swelling and catching in the knee. It is occasionally possible to re-attach these loose fragments and reconstruct the joint surface.
The most common situation is that the fragments need to be removed with key hole (Arthroscopic) surgery. The damaged area may simply require tidying up or chondroplasty to remove any loose edges. If the joint surface damage is more significant then surgery can be carried out to try and encourage new cartilage to form, in the form of a Microfracture Procedure.

 

Articular cartilage has very low potential for self-repair. Once damaged, it does not tend to heal. Several procedures are available to regenerate joint surface cartilage in the form of Microfracture, OATS, and Cartilage Transplantation (MACI) though restoration to

complete normality is usually not possible.

 

 

Mr Wilson in surgery

Mr Wilson in surgery

Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

Setting up for knee surgery

Setting up for knee surgery