Articular cartilage is the white gristle covering the ends of joint bones, where they articulate.


The white articular cartilage has a very special internal structure, with the cartilage cells suspended in pockets within a background matrix.

Grade 1 cartilage damage

Early softening of the joint cartilage of the femur - see the dimpling by the probe - is called chondromalacia.

grade 4 cartilage damage

Fibrillar wear of the articular cartilage. The yellowish bone is showing through on the top of the tibia.


Articular cartilage damage and arthritis

Articular cartilage is also called joint cartilage or hyaline cartilage. It is damage to the articular cartilage which is called 'arthritis' and in the knee all efforts are geared towards preventing any damage or breakdown of this all-essential joint surface, as it has a poor blood supply and does not heal well if damaged.

Joint cartilage
Hyaline cartilage

An interpretation of an article published in the orthopaedic literature in 2012.

Dr Adrian Wilson discusses frankly his own views on ACI procedures.

Articular cartilage repair

A short but sound overview of the issue of damage to the joint cartilage, and what can be done about it.

Who's Who in articular cartilage repair?

List compiled by the Editor of those knee surgeons around the world who have shown a special interest in articular cartilage repair.

Introduction to articular cartilage repair

Part 1 of an in-depth review on Articular Cartilage Repair by Dr Karen Hambly PhD MCSP (Sports Scientist/Physiotherapist).



The Basic Science of Articular Cartilage - Structure, Composition, and Function. Fox AJS, Bedi A and Rodeo SA. Sports Health. 2009 Nov; 1(6): 461–468.

Articular cartilage: structure and regeneration. Becerra J, Andrades JA, Guerado E, Zamora-Navas P, López-Puertas JM, Reddi AH. Tissue Eng Part B Rev. 2010 Dec;16(6):617-27.

Imaging of articular cartilage. Paunipagar BK and Rasalkar DD. Indian J Radiol Imaging. 2014 Jul-Sep; 24(3): 237–248.

See also:

eBook - Clearing up confusion about knee cartilage

eBook explaining the difference between articular cartilage and meniscus cartilage.