Cartilage covers the end of bones in joints to provide shock absorption during movement.
Normal cartilage on the end of the femur is compared to worn, damaged femoral cartilage.
A small cut (incision), typically about three inches, is made over the area of the knee that is damaged.
The damaged bone is removed and replaced with an implant (prosthetic) made of plastic and metal.
Most patients have a rapid recovery and have considerably less pain than they did before surgery and go home the day after surgery (unlike the 3 or 4 days required by a total knee replacement).
Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.