Subchondroplasty Procedure

  • A new technique to treat the cause of pain in osteoarthritis (which is due to a bone marrow abnormality in the area under the articular cartilage loss)
  • Bone marrow abnormality occurs as it is unable to take the weight/stress and becomes permanently damaged
  • MRI picks up the abnormality in the bone marrow which is called bone marrow oedema (lesion)
  • Bone marrow lesion must be present for 3 months so a repeat scan may be required
  • Technique involves decompressing this area and injecting Calcium Phosphate filler under X-Ray control
  • Arthroscopy is undertaken at the same time to ensure no filler leakage into the joint
  • Pain may initially increase but then reduces within a week and patient avoids or delays the requirement for joint replacement
  • Early results are very good with over 100,000 cases performed in the US already. Paul performed the first cases and has the largest experience in London.


Frequently Asked Questions – Subchondroplasty prodcedure

When should I start physiotherapy?

Before your outpatient appointment at 2 weeks post op

How long should I have physiotherapy for?

4 months

When can I drive?

2 weeks post op, when you can perform an emergency stop safely

Is pain expected?

Moderate to severe for 1-2 weeks.

How long will I be off work for?

2 weeks

Will I be able to walk normally?

Yes, but it will take 2 weeks

How long do I need to wear stockings for?

2 weeks

How long do I need to keep my dressing on for?

2 weeks

Can I go home by myself?


When can I start exercising?

2 weeks post procedure and with the advice from your Physiotherapist. Impact activities after 6-8 weeks

When can I fly?

After 6 weeks