Your body’s joints are lined with a smooth tissue known as hyaline cartilage, which acts as a shock absorber and allows the bones to move easily within the joint. Normal wear-and-tear or injury can cause defects in the cartilage, leaving irregular articular surfaces that limit movement. Patients with this condition often experience pain, swelling and even disability.
Cartilage cell transplantation, such as autologous chondrocyte implantation, is a technique whereby healthy cartilage cells from within your own body replace damaged cartilage cells, forming new cartilage in the affected area. There are variants to cartilage cell transplantation, but these procedures are recommended for young individuals with a single articular defect. It is usually performed on the knee joint but may also be used to treat the shoulder and ankle joints.