Articular cartilage lines the ends the bones that form our joint surfaces. and is composed of cells called chondrocytes, with a matrix or scaffolding made of collagen and proteins. In healthy joints, this unique and durable material allows bones to move against one another with minimal friction. Damage to protective tissue can cause pain, stiffness and weakness.
Treatments to protect joint bones that have been affected by cartilage conditions range from nonsurgical, conservative measures such as activity modification, weight loss and/or various types of injections, to surgical procedures that range from arthroscopic resection to cartilage repair and regeneration, or joint replacement surgery.
Typically, when areas of cartilage are either worn or torn away, exposing the underlying bone, surgical treatment is designed to fill in the missing area or defect with healthy articular cartilage or prosthetic replacements to provide new protection for the joint surface.