You are here

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 cartilage repair

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.

Fix a meniscus to avoid arthritis
A recent study suggested that meniscus surgery doesn't help. Studies can be misleading. Even small losses of meniscus tissue lead to big changes in force concentration on the tibia (shin bone) and eventually arthritis.
Legal Olympic Doping
Classic blood doping—the injection of additional blood cells to increase oxygen in the muscle—is illegal in Olympic sports. Yet, legal blood doping is all the rage at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. Here is how it works.
It’s possible to repair a chronically unstable ankle but it is best to help people avoid ever getting to that unstable stage by making sure that simple torn ligaments are stimulated to heal properly in the first place.
July 14th, 2015
In light of Wes Matthews and other NBA athletes suffering Achilles ruptures, Dr. Stone speaks to Mavs Moneyball, a...
April 27th, 2016
Dr Stone talking about Steph Curry's injury and the Warrior's season.
December 11th, 2014
"A few select orthopedic surgeons and researchers around the country are pioneering alternate cartilage...

Kevin R. Stone · Jonathan R. Pelsis · Scott T. Surrette · Ann W. Walgenbach · Thomas J. Turek 

Stone, K.R., A. Freyer, T. Turek, A.W. Walgenbach, S. Wadhwa, and J. Crues. 2007.