An Overview of Chondroplasty & Hip Microfracture
The joints throughout the human body experience a significant amount of stress each day. The hip joint can become injured during a traumatic event associated with athletic activities, a fall or automobile accident, or through normal wear and tear and the natural aging process. While many hip injuries tend to heal, articular cartilage is one structure that does not heal well on its own. Because of this, Dr. Jervis Yau, orthopedic hip surgeon serving the Santa Barbara, Goleta, Santa Maria and Ventura, California communities, offers minimally invasive procedures known as chondroplasty and microfracture in certain cases of articular cartilage damage. Both treatments are designed to preserve and restore damaged articular cartilage within the hip joint.
Articular cartilage is a smooth, white substance found at the ends of each bone in the hip joint and is responsible for providing a fluid, pain-free gliding motion for the joint. If articular cartilage becomes damaged, or if it begins to deteriorate from overuse or wear and tear, the cartilage becomes frayed and rough. The frayed edges may catch in the joint causing pain and other troublesome symptoms. Over time, the cartilage damage may leave exposed bone if the injury progresses. This results in grinding of the bones with patients experiencing hip pain, stiffness and swelling.
Hip Joint Preservation Procedures
Over the years, orthopedic surgeons have advanced the field of joint preservation and cartilage restoration. Surgical procedures, such as chondroplasty and hip microfracture, were developed to help restore damaged cartilage to help improve hip pain and function.
Dr. Yau commonly performs chondroplasty in patients with damaged articular cartilage without exposed bony surfaces. This procedure helps smooth out damaged, irregular shaped articular cartilage and removes frayed pieces of cartilage. This provides a smoother gliding surface for the hip joint.
Dr. Yau performs hip microfracture surgery in patients with exposed bone from loss of cartilage with healthy surrounding cartilage. Hip microfracture is designed to allow bone marrow cells and blood supply to the damaged area in order to generate a fibrocartilage scar to fill in the defect. During the procedure, Dr. Yau will create small holes in the area of exposed bone to stimulate the healing response.