Cartilage Repair

Orthopedic Surgery & Joint Replacement located in Walnut Creek, Sacramento and San Francisco, CA

If your knee has begun catching, swelling, or causing you pain, you may benefit from cartilage repair to promote healing and prevent future damage. At the Joint Preservation Institute, with offices in Sacramento, Walnut Creek, and the Lower Nob Hill neighborhood in San Francisco, California, experienced orthopedic surgeon Amir Jamali, MD, offers a range of cartilage repair techniques to meet your needs. To learn more, call the nearest office or book an appointment online today.

What is cartilage repair?

Cartilage is responsible for helping your joints glide smoothly as you move, keeping you pain-free and with a full range of motion. When an area of your cartilage is damaged, it disrupts the surrounding areas and can lead to even more cartilage loss. When this happens, you may notice:

  • Warmth
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Varying degrees of pain

Cartilage repair stimulates the growth of healthy cartilage, and Dr. Jamali may recommend one of several available treatments, depending on your needs.

What cartilage repair treatments are available?

The Joint Preservation Institute offers a range of treatments, including:


Microfracture is known to treat articular cartilage damage reliably. Dr. Jamali debrides the cartilage and places tiny holes 5-8mm apart. As your body sends a healing response to the area, your system forms a tissue known as fibrocartilage, which works similarly to your normal cartilage.

Autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI)

ACI is a state-of-the-art procedure that starts by harvesting a small piece of cartilage from your knee. This sample gets sent to a laboratory, where the cartilage-producing cells (chondrocytes) are isolated and then expanded before being returned to Dr. Jamali.

He injects these chondrocytes into the damaged area, where they form new cartilage tissue.


This technique moves plugs of bone and cartilage from non-weight-bearing areas of the knee to areas that need more cushioning. Since the tissue is your own, there is minimal risk of graft rejection.

Fresh osteochondral allografting

Also called cartilage transplantation, this procedure is performed under general or spinal anesthesia and uses precisely matched, donated tissue to replace the damaged area of cartilage.

It best treats cases in patients under 50 with:

  • Large areas of damage to the cartilage
  • Pain, swelling, and catching of the joint
  • Osteochondritis dissecans
  • Avascular necrosis

With all these procedures, Dr. Jamali lets you know what to expect and ensures a smooth process.

How long does it take to recover after cartilage repair?

Given the complexity of your joints and the careful road to recovery you must follow, be prepared to be patient. Depending on the severity of your injury and how extensive the repair is, your recovery could take 6-9 months.

Your best way forward is with expert guidance, and Dr. Jamali founded the Joint Preservation Institute to provide world-class, specialized care. To book an appointment, call the nearest office or go online today.