Subchondral drilling is a surgical procedure where small holes are drilled through damaged joint cartilage into the bone marrow of the underlying bone.

Concept of subchondral drilling

The concept behind this procedure, which was originally known as Pridie drilling, is that drilling into the bone marrow allows the release of bone marrow cells into the cartilage area which have the potential to form a protective 'fibrocartilage' layer over the defect.

Because the high speed drill can cause heating of the bone, and consequent damage, the procedure has largely been replaced with less damaging techniques such as microfracture.

Back to top



There is currently no content classified with this term.


Dr Sheila Strover (Editor)
BSc (Hons), MB BCh, MBA

See biography...