What is a chondroplasty?

A chondroplasty is an outpatient procedure used to repair a small area of damaged cartilage in the knee. The damaged tissue is removed, allowing healthy cartilage to grow in its place.  The procedure is performed through small incisions on the sides of the knee with the aid of a small video camera called an arthroscope.

Chondroplasty is an option in cases of mild to moderate cartilage wear.

What is the treatment for an arthroscopic knee chondroplasty?

Arthroscopic chondroplasty treatment is completed with arthroscopy — inserting thin surgical instruments in small incisions around your knee. The arthroscope sends the image to a television monitor. On the monitor, your surgeon can see the structures of the knee in much greater detail.

During a chondroplasty, your surgeon trims and smooths roughened arthritic joint surfaces.

What is the recovery time for chondroplasty?

The recovery time for arthroscopic chondroplasty is much faster than traditional open knee surgery because it is done using arthroscopy, a much less invasive procedure. Still, it is important to follow your orthopaedic surgeon’s instructions carefully after you return home. You should ask someone to check on you the first evening you are home.

Most patients need crutches or other assistance after arthroscopic surgery. Your surgeon will tell you when it is safe to put weight on your foot and leg. If you have any questions about bearing weight, call your surgeon.

Typically, patients are able to drive from one to three weeks after the procedure.