Chondroplasty means 'reshaping the joint surface' and refers to simple surgical techniques whereby fibrillated (ragged) and damaged joint surface is cut, scraped, lasered or burred away in the hope that the healthy joint surface will heal over the defect.

Joint cartilage is problematic in that it heals poorly once it is damaged. Although chondroplasty may stimulate the area to re-cover itself with new cartilage, the problem is that the new surface is not true hyaline or joint cartilage, but a rather inferior version called 'fibrocartilage'. So the technique is generally reserved for smaller defects and there are newer techniques for the larger areas that try to heal the defect with stronger, more normal joint cartilage.

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