Cartilage provides bones with a smooth coating that allows for cushioning of the joint and smooth movement. The effects of time, overuse and conditions such as arthritis can damage cartilage and leave the bones unprotected. Cartilage damage often results in stiffness, limited range of motion, and pain and swelling within the joint, which can significantly affect everyday activities that utilize the motion of the elbow.
There are several different methods of cartilage repair performed by Dr. Chao, which may include multiplying samples of healthy cartilage outside the body before implanting it back into the damaged area, or transplanting grafts of healthy cartilage to the damaged area to relieve pain and restore range of motion. Most patients experience effective results from cartilage repair.