The articular cartilage is the cover developed by the bone and provides protection to prevent both bones from rubbing together when moving. This cover can be altered by bumps, sharp turns or continuous surge in the case of athletes.
The cartilage undergoes several types of injury: it may soften or break, forming flaking off, cracks and even ulcers which may affect the bone that is below; or release cartilage fragments into the joint space.
The symptoms of a traumatic cartilage injury are:
Pain in the damaged area when moving the knee.
Crushing sound when moving the knee.
Joint fluid spill.
Loose bodies floating in the knee (causing pain, popping sounds and sometimes locks the knee).
Loosening feeling and loss of strength in the knee (due to a protective reflex that relaxes the thigh muscles).
Autologous osteochondral grafting is an open or arthroscopic technique that transplants small osteochondral cylinders extracted from no-load articular surfaces and places them perpendicular to the osteochondral defect. As the grafts are integrated, the spaces between them are filled with fibrocartilaginous tissue restoring the joint morphology.