What is the treatment for a chondral defect of the hip?
A number of factors, such as the patient’s age, activity level, medical history, size and number of lesions, and intended recovery goals, are taken into consideration by Dr. Patel and his orthopedic team when creating an individualized treatment plan.
Patients with small chondral lesions may respond well to non-surgical therapies alone for symptom management. Limiting or modifying physical activities that worsen the hip pain is encouraged, although symptom relief is best achieved through avoiding these activities altogether. Pain and inflammation can also be managed by a combination of rest, ice, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). A corticosteroid injection can be administered directly into the hip joint if pain persists with oral medications. Biologic treatments, such as the patient’s own platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or stem cells, can also be injected into the hip joint. When appropriate, a physical rehabilitation program may be prescribed to improve hip function and range of motion.
Surgical intervention may be necessary for patients with severe articular cartilage damage or those that did not respond well to non-surgical therapies. Dr. Patel may implement one or more of the following surgical techniques to properly restore the articular cartilage:
- Chondroplasty: Also known as debridement, this arthroscopic technique uses specialized surgical instruments inserted through small incisions to excise and remove the chondral lesion(s).
- Microfracture: This method treats focal articular cartilage defects by drilling small openings into the bone. These openings allow stem cells and bone marrow to infiltrate the hip joint to stimulate new fibrocartilage growth over the exposed bone.
- Osteochondral Autograft/Allograft Transplantation Surgery (OATS): This surgical technique uses a cartilage graft from either the patient (autograft) or donor tissue (allograft) as a surface for new cartilage growth. The new tissue is molded to the patient’s specific chondral lesion(s) and situated as close to the native cartilage as possible.