What is a Chondroplasty

Today we will answer the question. “What is a Chondroplasty?”

Most medical terms have a simple meaning. However for the layman the language seems foreign. That’s because it is.

Medical terms are mostly in Latin and Ancient Greek. Hence, for you and me when the doctor says you need a Chondroplasty. We look at him with a blank expression and search Google.

This may be why your here now. Well if it is then your in the right place. Because today I’m going to explain to you everything you need to know about the medical procedure Chondroplasty.


Chondroplasty in very simple terms is a surgical procedure that means reshaping the surface of joints. This surgical technique involves cutting and scraping damaged surfaces of the joints. This can involve using various tools including lasers to cut or burn away the joints surface.

Purpose of a Chondroplasty

The purpose of Chondroplasty is to cut away the damaged or fibrillated (ragged) joint surface.

With the idea that healthy tissue will then heal the defect.

Joint cartilage once damaged heals poorly in a lot of cases. Also Chondroplasty can help the surface of the joint to recover, but the new growth is not true cartilage/hyaline(1). The term used for this new growth is called “fibrocartilage”(2).

Thus this medical procedure is mostly only used on small areas. There are different techniques the larger cartilage problems. Thus, the main purpose of Chondroplasty is to help the body grow new surface cartilage in damaged joints.

Types of Chondroplasty Procedures

Chondroplasty procedure can be used on different parts of the body. As a example ankle, shoulder and hip. Also thyroid chodroplasty this reduces the Adam’s Apple. However this is mostly done for cosmetic reasons.

But the most common procedure is a arthroscopic chondroplasty. This is done to help with pain in the knee. This is a very common procedure because, as we age the wear and tear on the knee cartilage increases. Leading ultimately to pain in the knee joint. Arthroscopic chondroplasty is used to repair the cartilage in the knee and stop this pain.

What is an Arthroscopic Chondroplasty?

Arthroscopic chondroplasty is a procedure performed by a orthopaedic surgeon to remove damaged cartilage in the knee.


The Articular cartilage in the knee can become damaged for a number of reasons. For example knee injuries, trauma and arthritis.

What is involved in the Knee surgery?

A small incision is made in the knee and a arthroscope is inserted. This is a camera with a light so the surgeon can see the damage in the knee. Fluid is pumped into the knee thought the incision. This is done to expand the knee area so the surgical instruments can be used easier. These instruments are used to remove the damaged cartilage. and smooth the surface. Finial the fluid is emptied.

The video below gives you a good overview of Arthroscopic Knee Surgery involving a Meniscus tear.

Types of Chondroplasty Arthroscopy?

These arthroscopic procedures include the following:

  • Atellar chondroplasty – shave down the patellar cartilage
  • Abrasion chondroplasty – Shave down rough cartilage
  • Removal of tissue – Remove loose cartilage/fragments of bone
  • Meniscal repair – Trimming/repair of meniscal tears.
  • Radiofrequency ablation chondroplasty – Welding cracks together in the cartilage

The recovery process?

If you have Arthroscopic chondroplasty you will recover much faster than normal knee surgery. If you have had this knee surgery always follow your Doctor’s instructions. This will speed up the healing process.


Chondroplasty is simply a medical term for a common medical procedure. Arthroscopic chondroplasty basically a knee operation to repair a damaged knee and stop the pain.

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