Well, strike one for me. I tore the cartilage in my knee. The surgeon did a debridement technique that didn't work. The hole just got worse. Now what?

There are at least half a dozen ways to go about repairing a defect in the cartilage-bone interface of the knee. Debridement is just one.

If you've had this tear for a long time and/or if it is a large tear, you may be a good candidate for a procedure called autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI). The surgeon will remove some normal, healthy cartilage cells and grow them in a laboratory.

The cells reproduce until there are enough to reimplant into the knee. This stimulates cartilage healing and repair.

In a recent study comparing debridement to ACI, ACI came out ahead in long-term results. Patients reported more pain relief, greater reduction of swelling, and improved function.

Ask your surgeon about available options. See if ACI is a possibility.