Cartilage Repair

Patient Stories

I’m a runner for over 20 years and after I ran the 2011 NYC Half Marathon, I started feeling some discomfort in my right knee, but I did not put too much attention. I went to see an orthopedic MD in Astoria and after an MRI and x-rays, he told me that my days as a runner were over, and… Read more “Viviana Denig”

Viviana Denig
Sunnyside, NY

Since adolescence, I have had knee pain and subluxation and many knee surgeries. Knee pain was a part of my life for over twenty years, but it became increasingly worse to the point where I had episodes of significant swelling every other week. It began interfering with my work, my commute, and limited my activities with my family. I was… Read more “Maureen Suhr”

Maureen Suhr
Merrick, NY

I would first like to take the time to thank Dr. Beth Shubin Stein and her staff for giving me the best possible treatment and experience I could have hoped for. Not only did Dr. Shubin Stein fix my knee, but she got me back running in the shortest time possible! While running my first full marathon in Disney World… Read more “Stephanie VandenBerg”

Stephanie VandenBerg
Northfield, NJ

I had an amazing experience with at HSS. Dr Shubin Stein did my TTT (Tibia Tubrical Transfer) on both knees, each 6 months apart, and then screw removal. Both surgeries went way better than I could have imagined. Previously, I had crunching and significant pain especially with stairs. Now I never have pain and feel free to to whatever exercise… Read more “Kimberly Zastenchik”

Kimberly Zastenchik
Mahopac, NY



Damaged cartilage of the kneecap (patella) or groove (trochlea) is categorized differently than the cartilage damage from generalized arthritis. This type of cartilage damage is usually the result of a kneecap dislocation, direct knee trauma, or kneecap malalignment.

Why is knee cartilage important? 

Cartilage is the shiny, smooth coating at the end of bones.  It protects the bone and allows the bones to move smoothly and efficiently.  Damaged cartilage is known as arthritis.  When cartilage thins, or has a piece missing, it puts more stress on the bone and causes pain. 

Patellar cartilage surgery is most often performed on patients from age 12 to age 50. It's an ambulatory surgery, meaning you will be in and out of the hospital in the same day. The typical recovery time after surgery is between 4 and 9 months, and includes intense physical therapy to ensure an optimal recovery. 

Cartilage is: A resilient and smooth elastic tissue, rubber-like padding that serves to cover and protect the ends of long bones at the joints, and is a structural component of the rib cage, ear,  nose, bronchial tubes, intervertebral discs, and many other body parts. 

Symptoms of cartilage damage include:

  • Pain that may continue even when at rest, and worsen when you put weight on the knee
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • A clicking or grinding sensation.
  • Joint instability, locking, catching, or buckling 

Common causes of cartilage damage include:

  • Kneecap dislocations,
  • Trauma (such as a direct fall on the knee)
  • Kneecap tracking incorrectly (often called malalignment)

Treatments for Damaged Cartilage

Surgical Treatments

News & Research

Surgical FAQs