Chondral lesions of the hip and knee joints remain a challenging diagnostic and therapeutic problem. Magnetic resonance imaging technology remains the leading modality for noninvasive detection of articular pathology. Methods such as T2-weighted, T1rho-weighted, and delayed gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging of cartilage (dGEMRIC) have progressed in their development from basic ex vivo work to active clinical studies, with protocols of these mapping methods available for some existing 1.5-Tesla (1.5-T) and/or 3-Tesla (3-T) magnetic resonance imaging technology. Emerging data are beginning to show how these parameters relate to the state of cartilage tissue, and instrument vendors anticipate including these protocols in their next-generation scanners. Semiautomatic segmentation methods are improving, but they remain one of the barriers to widespread utilization of magnetic resonance methods.