Cartilage Restoration

We offer one of the nation's leading experts in successfully treating and repairing cartilage damage and its resulting joint pain. Fellowship-trained in sports medicine as well as cartilage restoration, our orthopaedic surgeon is at the forefront of cartilage repair and transplantation – and is using these cutting-edge techniques to bring dramatic benefits to athletes, weekend warriors and baby boomers with active lifestyles.

Here you'll find today's most exciting advances to repair, preserve and replace damaged cartilage in the knee – often preventing the onset or progression of arthritis. In some cases, cartilage restoration can also successfully treat joint problems in the shoulder and ankle, offering an important alternative to joint replacement.

By significantly reducing or eliminating pain in the joint, these biologic resurfacing techniques help patients return to an active lifestyle and regain their quality of life.

Specialized Services

  • Arthroscopic debridement
    Aided by a tiny camera (arthroscope) and using very small incisions, torn or damaged cartilage is located and trimmed away – reducing pain and restoring function.
  • Arthroscopic microfracture
    By creating small holes in the bones, microfracture stimulates the growth of cartilage – using the body's own healing abilities to repair cartilage defects. Successfully used to treat cartilage damage in both the knee and shoulder.
  • Cartilage cell transplantation (ACI procedure)
    Cartilage cell transplantation is one of the newest and most exciting developments in successfully treating knee joint pain. A patient’s own cells are harvested and grown in a laboratory culture. In a second procedure, the cells are re-implanted in the knee to repair and resurface areas where there’s been cartilage loss. Available at fewer than 50 medical centers in the country, ACI procedures allow us to restore mobility and range of motion without using an artificial joint in both the knee and shoulder.
  • Cartilage “plugs” (OATS procedure)
    Used to successfully treat isolated areas of cartilage damage, a small section of the patient’s own bone and cartilage is removed from an area that does not bear weight to serve as donor cartilage. The donor bone and cartilage is then transferred to the damaged part of the knee being repaired.
    For larger areas of bone and cartilage loss, our surgeons can implant a piece of donated cartilage and bone that eventually functions as the patient’s own tissue. The OATS procedure is typically used only on active individuals under 50 who have cartilage injuries and premature arthritis.

Our Providers

Our Provider

Donald E. Bittner, MD
Donald E. Bittner, MD
Orthopedic Surgery, Hand Surgery
City:  Fullerton
4.9 out of 5

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