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Knee Injuries (Articular Cartilage Damage)

A chondral knee injury is the result of articular cartilage damage within the knee. Articular cartilage is a specific connective tissue covering joint surfaces.


The symptoms of a chondral injury resulting from articular cartilage damage will not present themselves as prominently as a torn ACL or meniscus tear. Similar to other arthritic conditions, the symptoms start mild and continue to progress as time goes on.

Symptoms with articular knee cartilage-once they do begin to appear-include:

  • Intermittent swelling (often the only symptom)

  • Pain associated with prolonged walking or stair climbing

  • Buckling or giving way when full weight is placed on the knee

  • Locking or catching

  • The knee may make noise during motion



Articular cartilage degeneration is often treated without surgery. Dr. Parikh will recommend weight loss, non-impact exercises to strengthen the muscles around the joint, supplements and possibly injections of hyaluronic acid to improve joint lubrication and reduce friction. However, in some cases new growth of cartilage is not a possibility, medication will not cure the condition, but simply allow the patient to live a less painful life than before. Further treatment would require a surgical procedure.


The most commonly performed procedures for treating chondral defects are Arthroscopic Surgery.

Shaving (or Debridement)

This arthroscopic surgery technique that uses special arthroscopic instruments to smooth the shredded or frayed articular cartilage is called shaving. Ideally, this treatment will decrease friction and irritation, reducing the symptoms of swelling, noise, and pain.

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