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Joint Preservation: Knees

Joint Preservation has different meanings but today we are going to talk about Subchondroplasty. This procedure for painful knees is designed to address the pain of arthritic failing knee joints who are no longer responding to cortisone or lubricant injections.

The MRI below shows the bright white areas of stress fracture. As the pressure increases where the cartilage is worn, the bone cracks microscopically. Of course injections don’t work inside the bone! Before Subchondroplasty, these patients were offered knee replacement too soon.

The procedure is an outpatient arthroscopic method of filling the stress fracture with a liquid bone cement. It is covered by all insurances and the recovery begins immediately with outpatient physical therapy. Although most patients have some increased short-term pain, more than 70% report a 50% reduction in pain by one month. This is not perfect and not for everyone. But if your 8/10 can be reduced to a 4/10 that can be liveable.

The goal is to reduce pain and delay joint replacement. Average benefit is two years but some patients get up to 5 years. Read more at We hope to help you manage your life better, to preserve what you have, delay major surgery, and live your best life.


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