What is an Osteochondral Lesion?
Articular cartilage is smooth cartilage that covers the ends of the knee bones, helping them move smoothly and easily without rubbing. An osteochondral lesion is a tear of the articular cartilage that usually occurs during sports or physical activities. Symptoms of an osteochondral lesion include:
- Clicking or locking sensation
Because articular cartilage cannot heal itself, treating a tear can sometimes be difficult. New treatment techniques focus on surgically stimulating cartilage which in turn decreases symptoms, improves knee function, and prevents early onset arthritis.
What are Osteochondral Procedures?
There are several types of osteochondral procedures. The choice regarding which procedure is performed depends on
Microfracture surgery or drilling. A minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure in which the surgeon uses a special instrument called an awl or a flexible wire to make holes in the bone. The holes cause blood flow to the bone to increase, which stimulates healing processes and cartilage growth.
Abrasion arthroplasty. A minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure in which the surgeon uses a high-speed drill and burrs to make holes in bone. The effects are the same as those in microfracture and drilling surgeries.
Autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI). A minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure removes pieces of cartilage from your bone and sends it to a laboratory. Chondrocytes or cartilage cells are harvested and prepared for implantation. A separate open procedure implants the cells into your bone so they can form new cartilage.
Osteochondral autograft transplantation. A minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure where a piece of healthy cartilage is taken from a non-weight bearing area and moved to the area where cartilage is torn.
At Orthopaedic Institute Brielle Orthopaedics (OIO), our Board-Certified and Fellowship-Trained knee specialists Dr. Michael Sclafani, Dr. Anthony Petrosini and Dr. Toby Husserl are experts in performing osteochondral procedures.
If you injure your knee and are experiencing symptoms, contact our office to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists that are conveniently located at our offices in Wall, Freehold, Toms River, Red Bank and coming soon to Edison.