Cartilage is the smooth coating on the end of the bones that provides cushioning and support for comfortable, fluid movement. Cartilage damage occurs as a result of injury or degeneration and can lead to severe pain and arthritis. The cartilage eventually wears away and leaves the bone unprotected. Fortunately, there are now several techniques used to repair damaged cartilage and restore normal movement.
Cartilage repair is a relatively new field and long-term results are still not proven. These procedures aim to restore movement with the best possible tissue and to prevent further cartilage damage. Two common procedures used in cartilage repair include autologous chondrocyte implantation and osteochondral autograft transplant (OATS).