Cartilage Transplantation

Cartilage transplantation also called osteochondral allografting, is a treatment option for active people who have cartilage injuries or diseases.

UC San Diego Health System orthopedic surgeons regularly perform cartilage transplantations for the knee, ankle and hip.

Good candidates for cartilage transplantation are active people under the age of 50. They typically have a diagnosis such as traumatic chondral or osteochondral injury, osteochondritis dissecans, avascular necrosis, post-traumatic arthrosis, focal secondary arthrosis or patellofemoral disease.

This leading-edge procedure for resurfacing cartilage defects is not used to treat tumors or knee problems in older patients. In such cases, orthopedic surgeons typically perform joint replacement or resurfacing to restore function and eliminate pain.

Our overall success rate for cartilage transplantation and post-surgical treatment, based on measures such as pain relief, function, range of motion and incorporation of the graft with the host bone and tissue is about 75 percent. The success rate for this procedure in young people with focal cartilage injuries is about 90 percent.