Chondroplasty (Cartilage Debridement)

Chondroplasty (Cartilage Debridement), specifically, involves using surgical instruments to remove damaged cartilage or bone. The surgeon typically does a washout or joint lavage to remove any debris around the affected joint. If loose bodies or fragments remain after the procedure, they are removed.



  • Avoid certain medications. Your doctor may want you to avoid taking medications or dietary supplements that can increase your risk of bleeding.
  • Fast beforehand. Depending on the type of anesthesia you’ll have, your doctor may want you to avoid eating, and drinking six to twelve hours before your procedure.
  • Arrange for a ride. You won’t be allowed to drive yourself home after the procedure, so make sure someone will be available to pick you up. If you live alone, ask someone to check on you that evening or, ideally, stay with you the rest of the day.
  • Choose loose clothing. Wear loose, comfortable clothing baggy gym shorts, slip on shoes for example, if you’re having knee surgery so you can dress easily after the procedure.


The surgeon inserts small surgical tools and carefully removes the small patch of damaged cartilage and any loose tissue. The excess fluid is drained from the knee, the instruments are removed and the incisions are closed. As the knee heals, new “scar tissue” cartilage will grow over the bare spot to replace the missing cartilage.


Minimize swelling and prevent discomfort. This can be accomplished with:



As with any surgical procedure, complications can occur. Some possible complications may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Bleeding into the knee joint.
  • Damage to the cartilage, meniscus, or ligaments in the knee.
  • Formation of a blood clot in the leg.
  • Injury to a blood vessel or nerve.
  • Infection in the knee joint.
  • Knee stiffness following the procedure.
  • Compartment syndrome.
Procedure Cost: $4,485.00
CPT 29877
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