I had a salvage operation done to save the cartilage in my knee. The doctor says it was a failed surgery because it didn't heal after all. What happens next?

Your doctor may have some ideas to suggest. Be sure and check with him or her. It may depend on what method was used to save the cartilage the first time.

Some doctors will go ahead and remove the damaged cartilage. The reason they try to save the cartilage is to prevent osteoarthritis later. A second salvage procedure is sometimes possible. If one method didn't work, perhaps a different operation will help.

There are several ways to do this. The doctor may shave away a layer of damaged cartilage or drill holes through it. These operations help stimulate new tissue to grow in and around the damaged cartilage.

Researchers are working on cartilage transplants and synthetic (man-made) replacements. If you have to have the damaged cartilage removed, there may be new treatments available later before arthritis occurs.