Cartilage, the protective surface that covers the ends of our bones, helps our joints move smoothly and without pain. Cartilage may become damaged with age, wear and tear, or injury. This wearing away of the cartilage surface and the associated symptoms of pain, stiffness and swelling is known as arthritis. Currently, there are limited options to address the early stages of arthritis when the cartilage wear is diffuse (wide spread) on the joint surface. Arthroscopic procedures can clean up the torn, worn out edges of the cartilage, and treat limited areas of cartilage damage to successfully improve symptoms and function.
Dr. Chudik performs cartilage repair and transplant procedures arthroscopically with small incisions. Arthroscopic shavers and ablations instruments are used to remove and contour the torn loose edges of cartilage and there are several options for cartilage restoration, depending on the specific location and severity of the cartilage damage.
A microfracture repair is similar to the abrasionplasty procedure in which deeper holes are created to access the blood and marrow component. You may return to activities when there is no pain and full shoulder range of motion, muscle strength and endurance, and functional use has been restored. This usually requires four to six months following a cartilage. Dr. Chudik will tell you when it is safe to resume activities. Depending on the severity of the cartilage damage and the type of repair, Dr. Chudik may advise you about recommended activity restrictions.