Cartilage Restoration

Cartilage Restoration Procedures Articular cartilage is the soft tissue that covers the ends of bones where they meet other bones and form a joint. Healthy cartilage makes movement of the joints smoother and reduces friction. Damage to cartilage can occur from wear and tear over time, as a result of injury, inflammatory disease, or from bone or joint disorders such as osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) in younger individuals. Damaged cartilage can cause severe pain and can limit mobility and lead to arthritis over time. In some circumstances techniques to repair or restore injured cartilage can improve the healing process and local environment, decrease pain, and limit long-term effects of the damaged cartilage. Our fellowship trained surgeons use the latest innovations to reduce pain, improve healing, and optimize rehabilitation. Our team at Orthopedic Associates of Lancaster will work with you to development a recovery plan that includes postsurgical physical therapy and pain management.


  • Microfracture, a procedure that involves making several holes in the bone. This stimulates the healing response and brings new blood supply to the area. The process can help new cartilage, called fibrocartilage, to grow.
  • Osteochondral allograftin which a graft of bone with articular cartilage is taken from a donor and placed in the area of the abnormal cartilage and bone lesion
  • Osteochondral autograft transplantation involves taking a graft or plug ofbone and cartilage from a non-weight bearing surface of your own bone and transplanting it to the site of the affected lesion. Sometimes multiple plugs are taken and used next to each other to fill a larger lesion.
  • Fixationcan be used to repair loose pieces of bone and cartilage with screws
  • Autologous chondrocyte transplantation (ACI) requires two surgeries. The first surgery can typically be performed arthroscopically to remove healthy cartilage from a non-weight bearing part of the joint. These cells are then matured in a lab for approximately 6-8 weeks then replanted in the area of the articular cartilage lesion.
  • Cartilage allograft combines small pieces of human tissue cartilage with a glue to fill the articular cartilage defect
  • Often cartilage restoration is combined with other joint procedures to achieve improved limb alignment that will allow the new cartilage to heal and prevent further deterioration