Arthroscopic Articular Cartilage Repair (Ankle)


Arthroscopic articular cartilage repair of the ankle is a minimally invasive procedure that’s performed increases the function of a patient’s joint. This surgery stimulates the growth of fibrocartilage in the ankle to regain smooth joint function. Fibrocartilage is a tough, dense, fibrous material typically found in areas where transitional movements need a surface to easily glide over.

Expanding the Joint

Anesthesia will be given to the patient during the procedure and fluid is injected into the area of focus for a clear view of the ankle joint. To access the joint, our surgeons will make a series of tiny incisions for the arthroscopic camera and surgical tools.


Using the arthroscopy, the surgeon will locate the condition in question and a treatment decision will follow. He or she will clear out the damaged cartilage to expose the bone.

Stimulating Cartilage Growth

Using an awl – a small drill – tiny holes or abrasions on the bone’s surface are made to stimulate bleeding and increase blood flow to the area. The excess bleeding will trigger a natural healing response from the body. The body will repair itself as fibrocartilage gradually forms at the location of the original injury.

End of Procedure and Aftercare

The small incisions in the skin will be closed and bandaged after the arthroscope and instruments are removed. After a short monitoring period, the patient will be allowed to return home but may feel soreness and swelling for four to six weeks. A splint or walking cast may be administered with crutches to assist with moving throughout recovery. Physical therapy will follow the surgery and a full recovery can be seen over a few months.

Minimally Invasive Cartilage Repair in Chicago

Cartilage is a vital component of maintaining healthy joints. A degeneration of cartilage may be causing your condition when you’re experiencing ankle joint pain during daily activities. Contact the Illinois Bone & Joint Institute for a wide range of orthopedic services from our dedicated physicians. Your health is our priority and you can receive ankle treatment from any of our office locations throughout the local Chicago area.