Every day people injure the cartilage in their knees, shoulders and other joints. Regardless of the cause, the result is the same: tremendous pain that makes it difficult to enjoy your daily life.  In many cases, these injuries happen to people too young to undergo artificial joint replacement surgery.  This is where skilled surgeons of the OrthoCarolina Cartilage Restoration Institute step in.

Knee cartilage injuries can happen during sports activities, at work, or simply doing everyday activities.  When damaged, symptoms such as pain, swelling, locking or catching in the joint, and a loss of mobility can occur. Knee cartilage cannot heal itself, and if left untreated, may get worse over time. Luckily, for young, active, adult patients, there are surgical alternatives that have been shown to potentially solve these problems.


  •  Cartilage Damage
  •  Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD Lesions)
  •  Meniscus Tears

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August 28, 2018

Good day to you all, I am a 60 year old, fairly fit, active male. I have had old school knee on my left knee in 1975 as a junior in high school, full meniscus removal, and in 2008 arthroscopic surgery on my right knee after i injured it while favoring the left knee. Until now, I have not really experience constant knee pain. Many doctors have been surprised to my level of tolerance for this pain. For the past two years I have worked out to reduce my weight and to maintain a routine of physical fitness. Normally 3 to 4 miles a day and some weights as well as my dedicated work out, not to mention the normal daily activities as well. I would like to explore the current options for knee repair. Thanks for your time. Jim Setzer
- Jim Setzer
Reply From: OrthoCarolina

August 29, 2018

Thank you for the note Jim. Please contact the Cartilage Restoration Institute at 704.323.3000.

July 06, 2018

Hi, For some time now I have wondered about cartilage repair and this is the first time I’ve seen something about repair or replacement. I have scoliosis, but have had a spinal compression with Harrington rods from T7 -S1. Since the surgery other issues have come about. I still have back pain, muscle pain in my left quad and most of all knee pain. I fell several years ago and did a great deal of damage. The pain has not subsided and now the left knee is chronically painful. I have put in a pool to allow me to exercise. I have osteoporosis I my arms and hands and osteopenia in my hips. I have always been active. I was a runner. After back surgery was was a power walker and now have gone to swimming to try and stay healthy and thin. I’m 5” tall and I’m losing the healthy weight battle. I know it’s difficult to say for fact if you can help someone like me, but have you had success with older (62) patients with similar issues. I live in South Carolina. I’ve looked without success, to find similar procedures in SC. This June I retired from teaching because I don’t trust my knees. I have more knee pain than any where else. Thank you for your time and I anxiously wait to hear from you.
- Robin Holley
Reply From: OrthoCarolina

July 06, 2018

Hi Robin, Please send us your contact information at so we can get in touch with you. Appreciate it!

September 01, 2017

Hi there Shari, Yes, we can absolutely help! Please contact us at 704.323.3000 so we can schedule a time to see you. Thank you!
- OrthoCarolina

September 01, 2017

Your descriptions talk about cartilage repair in young, active adult patients. I and active and adult, but not young -- I am a very fit and active 60 year old with a 2 mm OCD (MRI July 31). Yes, it's small NOW. However I fear that time is not on my side and the 2MM OCD along with its discomfort and limitations will just get worse. I am not ready to stop being active and I certainly am not ready for a knee replacement. Are these cartilage procedures ever done on older very fit and active patients such as myself?
- Shari Altman

July 10, 2017

Hi there...thank you for the note and question. Please feel free to contact our Cartilage Institute directly at 704.323.3000.
- OrthoCarolina

July 07, 2017

Say a person has a significant size defect on his lateral femoral condyle. Can a person get the OATS plug(s) in the middle of the area, and get microfracture with mesenchymal stem cells injected at that time or shortly thereafter, and followed-up with injections of cartilage growth factors? These are all approved techniques, but I have never seen them used in combination. (And could they later do microfracture on the donor area for the OATS plug(s). I figure getting an OATS plug is a very reliable way to do cartilage repair, and it heals quickly. And, with the OATS plugs healed, the patient can stand on the leg in about 90 days, and that OATS plug will provide protection for the surrounding areas which got the microfracture treatment with stem cells injected, and followed-up with regular growth factor injections to better ensure a good outcome. This seems like a no-brainer. These are the treatments that have have been used, have worked, and can work together very well -- complimenting each other. Or would it be cost prohibitive to do all this to a knee? And what would the cost be for all this for one knee? A ball park estimate would be fine.
- Are combination knee cartilage treatments available?

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