Ankle cartilage injury

Patients with cartilage lesions on the weightbearing surface of the ankle joint often experience pain and swelling.

The Stone Clinic's articular cartilage stem cell paste grafting technique, which has been used extensively in the knee joint, has also proven successful in the ankle joint. This technique is a key part of our BioAnkle® program for biologic treatment of the ankle.

Articular cartilage and bone is harvested, typically from the distal tibia, and a paste is created. The paste is then impacted into the defect in order to re-grow articular cartilage repair tissue at the site of the arthritis or lesion. This arthroscopic technique is performed as an outpatient procedure. It is followed with a month of a continuous passive motion (CPM) machine use and the patient is non-weight bearing with a careful physical therapy program on a daily basis.

Patients are often rehabilitated in a swimming pool and on a bicycle in order to increase their motion. The results of the last 20 years of performing articular cartilage paste grafting to the ankle joint have been quite satisfactory.

Ankle Fusion

When the cartilage of the ankle is completely worn and the ankle is bone-on-bone we prefer to perform an ankle fusion as an outpatient arthroscopic technique. A well-done fusion permits you to return to most sports pain free with a gait that is far superior to the painful arthritic gait. While fusion is our last choice after our biologic joint repair procedures, sometimes it is the best choice for the arthritic ankle. By not opening the joint, the healing is rapid. Patient satisfaction has been extremely high.

Articular cartilage repair is one step in our BioAnkle® procedure to rebuild an ankle naturally using biologic procedures.

Download a Guide to our Ankle-Saving Procedures
Explore all your options. Learn about procedures that can help you return to sports & delay or avoid an artificial ankle replacement.