In a nutshell, a chondroplasty is a medical procedure that involves the reshaping of joint surfaces.
The technique is relatively simple, and involves scraping or cutting damaged joint surfaces.
Sometimes, the joint surfaces are burned away or cut away using a laser.
In this article, we’ll talk more about the chondroplasty procedure, as well as its benefits.
Purpose of a Chondroplasty
When joint cartilage gets damaged, it typically heals poorly on its own.
The purpose of a chondroplasty is to stimulate the damaged area to “grow” new cartilage.
Since the new surface technically isn’t “true” cartilage (it’s a type of fibro-cartilage), this technique is generally reserved for smaller defects.
Note, there have been advances that allow a chondroplasty to be used on larger areas.
Types of Chondroplasty Procedures
This procedure can be used in different areas of the body.
For example, there’s a thyroid chondroplasty, which is done to reduce the visibility of the Adam’s Apple.
This is typically done for cosmetic reasons, particularly in transsexual women.
In the procedure, surgeons cut the Adam’s Apple until it’s no longer as visible.
There’s also an arthroscopic chondroplasty, which is done to repair damaged cartilage in the knee.
This one is done for health reasons, since further deterioration of the knee can lead to increased pain.
What is an Arthroscopic Chondroplasty?
This is when surgeons go in and remove damaged knee tissue so that normal, healthy cartilage can grow in its place.
It’s a minimally invasive procedure that involves cutting small incisions in the side of the knee.
Surgeons then use a video camera called, known as an arthroscope, to see inside.
This procedure is usually reserved for mild to moderate cases of knee-related cartilage wear. In more serious cases, other procedures will be used.
Using the arthroscope, the surgeon will be able to see the inside of the knee in a lot of detail.
Next in the chondroplasty, they’ll smooth the damaged, arthritic joint surfaces in the knee.
You won’t feel anything throughout the procedure, since anesthetic will be used.
Compared to traditional knee surgery procedures, patients will experience faster recovery time with an arthroscopic chondroplasty.
If you’ve recently gone through this procedure, it’s recommended that you follow your doctor’s instructions to the tee.
This will speed up healing, and should also help reduce any pain you’re experiencing.
You’ll likely be on crutches for about a week or two, in which time you’ll be allowed to drive again.
In the meantime, don’t put any added weight on the knee that underwent surgery.