Articular cartilage repair is the improvement of defects of the joint cartilage, either by surgery or biological intervention.
Microfracture - a marrow stimulation technique, where holes are picked through the cartilage base plate, to allow blood and cells to track through into the defect.
In ACI - a cell-based therapy - cartilage cells are multiplied in the laboratory and injected into the defect behind a membrane.
Cartilage repair is part of regenerative medicine
There is a lot of focus currently on regenerative techniques for restoring damaged joint cartilage. Procedures include microfracture, nanofracture, ACI, mosaicplasty, MACI, AMIC, NAMIC, stem cell injections and microfragmented fat injections.
Cell-Based Articular Cartilage Repair: The Link between Development and Regeneration. Caldwell KL and Wang J. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2015 Mar; 23(3): 351–362.
Cartilage repair in the degenerative ageing knee. Brittberg M, Gomoll AH, Canseco JA, Farr J, Lind M and Hui J. Acta Orthop. 2016 Dec; 87(Suppl 363): 26–38.