What are chondral injuries of the hip?

Chondral injuries affecting the hip largely occur due to articular cartilage damage. For example, hip pain or catching or pinching sensation affecting the hip is a sign of a chondral injury. A seamless but tough cartilage that lines the inside of the joints is referred to as articular cartilage. The purpose of the cartilage is to minimise friction and increase protection within the joint where the bones, the femur and the acetabulum join.

What causes chondral injuries of the hip?

Chondral injuries occur due to lesions or defects resulting from trauma, dysplasia, joint dislocations, impingement and osteonecrosis. Osteonecrosis is considered a serious condition that leads to bone and tissue death. Unfortunately, this condition can prompt cracks in the bone, eventually leading to the collapse of the structure.

How does Dr van Niekerk check for chondral injuries of the hip?

Dr van Niekerk reviews the patient’s medical history and discusses the cause of the injury in further detail. An MRI provides a detailed view of the articular cartilage inside the hip joint.

How do you treat chondral injuries of the hip?

Surgery for chondral hip injuries can be surgical or non-surgical, depending on the severity of these injuries. However, conservative treatments such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, ice therapy, rest and physical therapy can relieve pain.

Unfortunately, the cartilage receives a limited blood supply and cannot repair itself independently. If the cartilage is severely damaged, Dr van Niekerk will have to repair the cartilage surgically.

Surgeries that lead to a better quality of life include the following:

  • Chondroplasty involves debriding (cleaning out) the joint. The procedure is considered when loose bodies are present. A less invasive surgical approach such as this allows a faster recovery and offers regeneration of the damaged cartilage.
  • Microfracture is a surgical approach that encourages the growth of new cartilage. By creating small holes in the bone, Dr van Niekerk stimulates the production of stem cells inside the marrow that move toward the operative site to create new cartilage.


How do I initiate a consultation with Dr van Niekerk?

Contact their office at 012 664 2014 or email to schedule an appointment.

What does a chondral defect of the hip feel like?

You will most likely experience hip pain, and it will feel as if the hip joint is catching on to something.