I have grade 3/4 chondral fissuring in my left elbow. No history of injury, it just started hurting/popping one day so I went to the doctor, got an XRay and MRI. It hurts randomly throughout the day, and sometimes hurts/pops on extension. It doesn't feel stable enough to lift weights and I have been out of the gym for a month.

My doctor told me cartilage dose not regrow.

I've read random things online that claim it may be possible to regenerate cartilage, but I'm not sure how much of that is legit and how much of it is just sales hype.

My searches lead me to the following:

1) A collagen hydrolyzate supplement called Fortigel (not to be confused with the testosterone gel of the same name). Supposedly they have before/after MRIs showing that 24-48 weeks of supplementation with 10g daily resulted in cartilage regeneration. I've been taking it for 3 weeks. I guess we'll see.

2) Prolotherapy. Supposedly doesn't work for cartilage issues, but then there is:

3) Prolotherapy + PRP. PRP = platelet rich plasma. They draw blood, put it in a centrifuge, separate out the PRP, and then re-inject it into the area. I've heard this can be useful for small cartilage issues but I've also heard it doesn't work on cartilage issues. And then there is:

4) Prolotherapy + stem cells. Claims to be able to regenerate cartilage.

The thing with prolotherapy is that 95% of the people I've seen saying it works are either the people offering the procedure, or reviews on forums that look very suspicious (possibly shills from the offices of people who promote it).

There is also the issue that stem cell therapy is hyped up by the places that offer it, but many people feel it's not ready to be used yet.

So far all I've been doing is taking supplements and researching treatment options. I'm in my early 30s and would like to be able to keep lifting weights and being active. My current supplement regiment for the last month has been:

Glucosamine sulfate: 500mg 3x a day
Chondroitin sulfate: 600mg 2x a day
MSM (OptiMSM brand): started at 500mg 3x a day, now 1,000mg 3x a day
Vitamin C: 500mg 3x a day
Fortigel: 10g 1x a day
Fish oil: 0-2,400mg EPA and 0-1,500mg DHA per day

Other supplements I'm considering:

ASU (avocado soy unsaponifiables)

I've seen some people claiming benefit from hyaluronic acid, but I've also seen some stuff saying it may contribute to cancer metastasis, so I've decided to hold off on that one in the meantime.

Any input or experience or advice anyone here may have is appreciated.