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Center for Hip Preservation

Chondral Lesions or Injuries - Hip Conditions

Articular cartilage, the soft tissue coating the surfaces in the body, allows for the pain-free motion of the joints. Injuries to, or loss of, the articular cartilage exposes the underlying “subchondral” bone surface. This region is richly innervated and as such is the primary source of pain when there is loss of the articular cartilage. Treatment options include non-operative regimens such as diet, exercise and avoidance of impact activities. The role for cartilage enhancing agents such as oral supplements as well as injections of synovial fluid analogs is not entirely clear at this time. Surgical treatments for articular cartilage loss are wide-ranging, and include attempts to stimulate the joint to make a reparative type of cartilage through the process of microfracture, tissue banked cartilage transplantation for small, isolated areas of cartilage loss, joint replacement surgery may be necessary when there is full thickness cartilage loss from large areas of the weight bearing surface of the joint.