Advances in articular cartilage repair.Injury. 2005 Nov; 36 Suppl 4:S14-23.I
Many joint and systemic disorders may lead to cartilage defects. Partial thickness defects of the articular cartilage do not have healing potential. When the lesion reaches the subchondral bone, spontaneous healing may be observed, but consists of fibrocartilaginous tissue. The main efforts for cartilage repair are targeted at filling of the cartilage defect with a tissue that possesses the same mechanical properties with hyaline cartilage and the consolidation of this tissue with the native articular cartilage. There are various arthroscopic techniques and although they provide pain relief, they do not restore the damaged cartilage. Osteochondral transplantation is more effective in dealing with small or medium size full thickness defects, but further efforts are required in order to reduce the donor site morbidity, marginal necrosis and partial covering of the defect.