There are many joints in the human body that merit cartilage repair, and certainly the ankle is near the top of the list. The talus bone is critical for walking without pain, and even a small amount of damage to this bone–from fracture, arthritis, or even just recurrent ankle sprains–results in disability. One reason that is true is because even in a large individual this bone is small, such that the stresses of walking and running are placed upon an extremely tiny surface area. So even a small defect in the cartilage can lead to very significant symptoms.
The ankle joint is accessible, both by arthroscopy and mini open surgery. Several methods can be used to address cartilage loss and sometimes even bone loss, if required.