Chrondal Grafting

One of the latest surgical techniques to repair articular cartilage damage in the knee is a Chrondal Graft. This procedure involves growing cartilage cells and transplanting them back into the knee to help regrow the cartilage and heal the defect.

It’s rare for articular cartilage to repair itself without intervention, and deep defects are at a high risk of progressing to osteoarthritis, so repairing these defects can play a vital role in preventing significant negative outcomes in the future.

There are two separate procedures involved in this treatment, starting with a biopsy of articular cartilage which is carried out during an arthroscopy. These cartilage cells are then grown in the laboratory and implanted on a fine mesh, and these are then transplanted back onto the defect on the knee in a second, separate operation.

The surgery can be performed under regional (awake but numb from the waist down) but is more commonly done under general anaesthetic (fully asleep) and typically takes several hours.

You’ll most likely need a brace for six weeks and avoid full weight-bearing activity during this time. You will need physical therapy and be given a set of simple exercises to help restore your range of motion and strength. Most patients are back to light activities within six months and playing sport within 12 months.

Chrondal Grafting Fast Facts

Standard Procedure Time:1 hour
Standard Hospital Stay:Overnight
Recovery Time:Crutches for 6 weeks
Return to Light Activities:3-6 months
Return to Full Activities:6-12 months