Cartilage Repair for Osteochondritis Dissecans

Hyaline cartilage is the tough, gel-like padding at the ends of the bones in your joints. When a sprain, fracture or other injury damages this cartilage, it can be very painful. If treatments like medications or a brace don't help, surgery may be the best option.

Can Cartilage Damage Be Repaired?

Hyaline cartilage can't repair itself. But our experienced surgeons can fix damaged cartilage using several techniques:


During this procedure:

  1. Surgeons remove the damaged hyaline cartilage.
  2. They create holes in the bone beneath where they removed the cartilage.
  3. As you heal, the body fills the holes with cartilage scar tissue called fibrocartilage. 

Cartilage grafting and cartilage restoration

Newer methods of repairing damaged cartilage use biocartilage, which is a tissue scaffold. In these advanced procedures:

  1. Surgeons replace the damaged cartilage with biocartilage (cartilage graft) bathed in stem cells.
  2. This process helps your body heal and create new hyaline cartilage.

Conditions We Treat Using Cartilage Regeneration

Most often, our experts use cartilage regeneration to repair osteochondral lesions of the talus, also known as osteochondritis dissecans.

The talus is the bone at the bottom of your ankle joint. Osteochondral lesions happen when you injure the talus and its cartilage.

Normally, the pain from a sprain or other injury goes away with treatment. But if you have an osteochondral lesion, everyday activities continue to hurt and cause swelling. You may also feel a dull ache, locking or clicking in the joint.

Cartilage regeneration may also help tendon and ligament injuries.

Is Cartilage Repair Right for Me?

A foot and ankle specialist can diagnose osteochondritis dissecans and recommend the best treatments. If nonsurgical treatments fail to relieve your symptoms, cartilage repair surgery may be right for you.

Our foot and ankle surgeons are national experts in foot and ankle care. They have the experience and skill needed to perform these advanced procedures. 

Get Help or Make an Appointment

To learn more or make an appointment, call or send a message to the Foot & Ankle team.

Available 24 hours a day