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An orthopedic specialist examining patient's knee.

The bones in the knee joint are protected from friction by articular cartilage that covers the intersecting bones. The bottom of the femur, top of the tibia and underside of the patella all have a coating of articular cartilage that is attached to the bone, providing a slippery surface to enhance joint movement. When the cartilage and bone beneath it is damaged, it is called an osteochondral defect, which can impact the function of the knee joint. Robotic Hip and Knee Replacement LA offers osteochondral defect treatment at our orthopedic clinic in Los Angeles.

Causes and Symptoms of Osteochondral Defects

The articular cartilage is attached to the bones in the knee, but it can be torn or removed with trauma. A knee injury can tear the cartilage and rip it off the surface of the bone, resulting in an osteochondral defect. Conditions like osteochondritis dissecans can weaken the bone under the cartilage, increasing the risk of an osteochondral defect. Articular cartilage does not regenerate on its own. The damage to the cartilage can leave an uneven surface, loose bodies or other irritations within the knee joint. Symptoms of this type of knee cartilage damage include:

  • Locking or catching when bending/straightening the knee
  • Knee pain
  • Knee swelling or inflammation
  • Loose or unstable sensation in the knee joint

Osteochondral defects will not heal on their own. In some cases, loose bodies of cartilage or bone can break off and float inside the knee joint. Arthroscopic knee cartilage repair or replacement may be needed to reduce pain and improve knee function. The type of osteochondral defect treatment depends on the extent of damage to the knee cartilage. Removal of loose bodies, regenerative medicine, cartilage preservation treatments and cartilage grafts are all possible treatments for addressing cartilage damage.

If you have symptoms of damaged knee cartilage or an osteochondral defect, contact us at Robotic Hip and Knee Replacement LA in Beverly Hills to schedule a consultation. Dr. Farzin Kabaei is a respected knee specialist and orthopedic surgeon who offers osteochondral defect treatment and surgery.

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