3 The procedure
3.1 Radiofrequency chondroplasty aims to slow the progression of discrete chondral defects by removing the unstable edges of the defect, producing a smooth, stable articular cartilage surface.
3.2 The procedure is usually done with the patient under general anaesthesia. An arthroscope is inserted into the knee and large chondral defects are trimmed from the weight-bearing surfaces of the femoral condyles, using instruments such as a blunt hook or an electric shaver. Under arthroscopic guidance, a radiofrequency probe is then used to smooth the edge of the chondral defect using irrigation to stabilise temperature and flush any debris. The aim is to improve mechanical stability and prevent further cartilage damage.