Cartilage Center

Cartilage Center

The pediatric experts at the Children’s Health Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine utilize the most advanced techniques for diagnosing and treating cartilage problems in children and adolescents.

Is your child having unexplained knee pain? If so, it could be a sign of a cartilage problem. Our pediatric orthopedic and sports medicine physicians are proficient in diagnosing and treating these conditions with the most advanced treatment techniques. When cartilage problems are caught early and treated appropriately, young athletes can often jump right back into high-level activities.

Treatments and Services

  • Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation
  • Cartilage Transplantation
  • Osteochondral Allograft
  • Osteotomy


Evidence-based treatment protocols

As part of a multi-center research group called the ROCK Group, we collect data on patients with osteochondritis dissecans, a rare cartilage disorder. This collective data gives our doctors insight into which treatments work best and when to recommend certain options for patients.

Finding the right treatment for knee and joint pain 

Our facility treats the full spectrum of cartilage problems. Because metal wears down over time, joint replacement is not a good option for children and adolescents. We treat most cartilage conditions non-surgically, using braces or casts, especially in younger children.

For more complex cases, your doctor may recommend surgery. We have expertise in some of the latest techniques to effectively treat cartilage problems. With these advanced procedures, our specialists are seeing excellent results. Patients may even be able to delay or avoid future knee replacements. Surgical options include:

  • Arthroscopic surgery: This minimally invasive approach uses small incisions and a specialized tube called an arthroscope. The arthroscope allows surgeons to view and sometimes repair joint damage.
  • Osteotomy: This surgery changes the alignment of a bone to decrease the load on an injured joint.
  • Cartilage transplantation: Doctors replace missing cartilage with living cartilage. We can perform this procedure in two different ways:
    • Osteochondral allograft: We use living cartilage from a donor and transplant that into a patient.
    • Autologous chondrocyte implantation: We harvest a patient's own cartilage cells in a lab and then reinsert them back into the patient.

Meet the Care Team