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Cartilage Repair Overview

Knee injuries and arthritis can damage the cartilage in the knee – impacting mobility and physical abilities. There are non-surgical and surgical treatment options - many pioneered by the experts of the Brigham and Women's Cartilage Repair Center - to repair or replace cartilage to restore the function of the joint.

What is Cartilage Repair?

The Cartilage Repair Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital provides innovative services including:

  • Autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) – taking a patient’s own healthy cartilage to repair unhealthy cartilage in the knee. Osteochondral allograft transplantation – taking a bone/cartilage graft from a deceased donor and transferring it to the damaged portion of a patient’s
  • Meniscal transplantation – taking a healthy meniscus, a crescent-shaped cushion of cartilage in the knee, from a deceased donor and implanting it in patient with a damaged meniscus

In addition to these cartilage treatments, the Center also performs osteotomies (reshaping a joint bone for osteoarthritis treatment), partial and total knee replacement and ligament reconstruction.

Cartilage Treatment at Brigham and Women's Hospital

Physicians in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at BWH provide unique, innovative and comprehensive diagnosis, treatment and management for cartilage damage and a wide spectrum of other orthopaedic diseases.

The Cartilage Repair Center is internationally recognized as one of the leading centers for the treatment of cartilage damage and early arthritis in the knee, and continues to be among the busiest cartilage transplant centers in the United States.

At the Center, our experts carefully examine each patient’s condition and goals to select the treatment option that best matches the physical demands of their lifestyle. They are committed to not only repairing the damaged cartilage, but also determining and correcting the cause of the damage - such as misalignment or ligament instability. This thorough approach has helped us maximize the long-term success rates of our procedures.

Bone and Joint Care at Brigham and Women's Hospital

The Orthopaedic & Arthritis Center at BWH is one of the most highly regarded orthopaedic and joint disease research and treatment programs in the world. Comprehensive and innovative bone and joint care is the foundation of the Center, beginning nearly a century ago when one of our founding hospitals, the Robert Breck Brigham Hospital, became the first teaching hospital in the country wholly devoted to arthritis and related diseases.

Today, the Center – a collaboration of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Division of Rheumatology, Inflammation, and Immunity - is known for its pioneering team of physicians and researchers dedicated to doing everything possible for our patients while helping to develop and apply the most advanced treatments for bone and joint diseases and conditions.

Patient- and Family-centered Care

BWH has long been committed to not only the care of our patients but also the many other needs that they and their families have. This philosophy of patient- and family-centered care involves systems and services that emphasize healing in a comfortable, relaxed environment.

Quality of Patient Care

BWH is committed to providing all of our patients with the safest, highest-quality, most-satisfying care possible and follow established protocols that have been shown to improve patient outcomes. Our Inpatient Satisfaction Survey, sent to patients’ to assess their total care experience, helps us to monitor what we are doing well and areas for improvement. We pride ourselves in the Quality of Patient Care we provide and how we are measured compared with other hospitals.

Brigham and Women's Hospital Cartilage Treatment Team

Year after year, our Orthopaedic and Rheumatology Services are ranked among the top programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report. The Orthopaedic & Arthritis Center is able to maintain this level of care through a combination of medical expertise, with one of the largest and most experienced staffs in the country; a commitment to quality care, demonstrated by our numerous quality and safety awards; state-of-the-art facilities; and advanced technologies. Our Orthopaedic & Arthritis Center team of physicians, nurses, physician’s assistants, and staff work closely with colleagues in specialties throughout BWH and nursing to deliver safe, effective, and compassionate care to every patient.

Contact Us

If you believe you should have an evaluation and would like to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopaedic experts, call 1-800-294-9999 to speak to one of our knowledgeable coordinators who can help to connect you to the doctor that best meets your needs.


For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

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