Small Cartilage Defect Management

Brittney A. Hacken, Matthew D. Laprade, Michael J. Stuart, Daniel B.F. Saris, Christopher L. Camp, Aaron J. Krych

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cartilage defects in the knee are common resulting in significant pain and morbidity over time. These defects can arise in isolation or concurrently with other associated injuries to the knee. The treatment of small (< 2-3 cm 2) cartilage deficiencies has changed as our basic science knowledge of tissue healing has improved. Advancements have led to the development of new and more effective treatment modalities. It is important to address any associated knee injuries and limb malalignment. Surgical options are considered when nonoperative treatment fails. The specific procedure depends on individual patient characteristics, lesion size, and location. Debridement/chondroplasty, microfracture, marrow stimulation plus techniques, fixation of unstable osteochondral fragments, osteochondral autograft transfer, and osteochondral allograft transplantation, all have roles in the treatment of small cartilage defects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20mar0002ssa
Pages (from-to)1180-1186
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Knee Surgery
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020


  • cartilage defect
  • knee
  • malalignment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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