This outpatient procedure repairs a small area of damaged cartilage in the knee. By removing the damaged tissue, healthy cartilage can grow in its place.

What You Need to Know About Chondroplasty

What is a Chondroplasty of the Knee?

Chondroplasty of the knee is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to repair damaged knee cartilage. Using arthroscopic technology, a surgeon removes damaged tissue from the joint and helps address any future problems. Removal of damaged tissue allows healthy cartilage to be able to grow in its place.

Because it's a minimally invasive procedure, a chondroplasty requires fewer incisions than conventional surgery. Instead of large incisions, the surgeon can access your knee through tiny openings in the side of your knee. Since there are no large incisions, you will be able to recover quickly after your procedure.

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Why is a Chondroplasty Procedure Performed?

Chondroplasty can help address symptoms from intense knee trauma, osteoarthritis, and other degenerative conditions.

As you age, the cartilage in your joints can become damaged. Unlike your skin or bones, cartilage can't heal effectively on its own because it doesn't get enough of a nourishing supply of blood. Having damaged cartilage makes simple tasks like walking to the mailbox into painful and irritating burdens.

Chondroplasty allows some people to stop feeling leg pain and restore functionality in their legs. Surgery helps promote the regeneration of cartilage and restore knee function. This procedure helps reduce joint pain and improve leg function.

During chondroplasty, a surgeon can also use the opportunity to even out and smooth rough arthritic joint surfaces. Your surgeon will also address any lingering knee abnormalities during the procedure. Attending to trouble spots will help make sure the treatment provides lasting results. The surgeon may also examine the cartilage and address any irregular growth during the procedure.

How to Prepare for a Chondroplasty Knee Surgery

Properly preparing for your surgery can help improve your recovery time and ensure the best results. Before your surgery, make sure you discuss both your prescription and OTC medications with your doctor. Having an open dialogue with your doctor about all of your current medication will help them advise you about which drugs to avoid in the lead up to your surgery.

Many doctors will create a tailored surgery preparation plan for you. This plan will include stretches to help you prepare for surgery.

You should not have anything to eat or drink at least 12 hours before your procedure. Make sure you plan before your surgery to have someone drive you home.

What Happens During a Chondroplasty Procedure?

Every person and every procedure is different. Your doctor will design a surgical plan customized to promote your healing.

However, the typical workflow of a chondroplasty begins with the administration of anesthesia. After being lulled into a gentle twilight sleep, your surgeon will create small puncture holes around your knee. They will insert an arthroscope — which is a surgical tool with a camera attached — through these holes. Sometimes fluid may be pumped into the joint to expand the joint.

The surgeon then guides the arthroscope through the affected joint. Small surgical instruments remove loose fragments of cartilage and trim damaged portions. Sometimes the surgeon will do exploratory measures to pinpoint any trouble spots and avoid the need for future procedures.

Typically, the whole procedure usually takes around an hour to complete. Once completed, the surgeon will remove the surgical tools, sew up the punctures, and drain the fluid from your knee. You will then recuperate in the recovery room. As soon as you are cleared by our staff you will be able to go home with someone you have arranged to take care of you.

Are There Risks Associated with Chondroplasty Surgery?

Chondroplasty is a minimally invasive surgery that doesn't involve large incisions in your skin. As a result, this approach is less likely than traditional medicine to deliver adverse effects.

However, there is no such thing as a safe surgery. Any surgical procedure has a certain amount of inherent risk. Some of these risks include:

  • Increased risk of bleeding

  • Higher potential for infection

  • Chronic knee stiffness

  • Damage to areas not affected by osteoarthritis

  • Blood clots

  • Bleeding in the joints

Additionally, anesthesia can cause allergic reactions in some people. Severe complications from chondroplasty are uncommon. Your doctor will be able to give you a comprehensive breakdown of risks from chondroplasty.

Post Chondroplasty and Recovery

The recovery time for minimally invasive procedures is much faster than traditional open surgery. To ensure a successful recovery, you will need to follow some instructions.

Before your surgery, ask someone — a friend or relative — to assist you during your first evening home. After your surgery, you will be able to return home immediately without needing an extended hospital stay. Most people need to use crutches for the first few weeks following their surgery. Make sure you make arrangements through your work to either take time off or work from home as you recover. You should not operate machinery for at least one to three weeks following your procedure.

As you heal, it is essential to change your bandages regularly. Intermittently applying ice in conjunction with replacing wound dressings will help your healing complete.

Your surgeon will advise you about when you can return to your routine. Until your doctor approves it, do not put weight on your foot. Exercising your quadriceps will keep your thigh muscles from weakening.

You may be prescribed painkillers to help with your recovery. Be careful when using these as they are habit-forming.

Your doctor will be able to advise you about your recovery. Find out how the experts at Resurgens can get you moving again. Book your appointment now.

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