What Is the Purpose of Microfracture Surgery?
Microfracture is a technique used to treat full thickness cartilage defects with exposed bone. Hyaline (articular) cartilage has a limited capacity to regenerate and heal itself due to its lack of blood supply. This technique was developed as a way to stimulate the body to biologically repair cartilage injuries.
A minimally invasive arthroscopic technique is used to place microfracture holes into the exposed bone, which allows the release of blood and bone marrow contents into the cartilage defect. This activates a healing response and stimulates the production of a fibrocartilage layer to form over the exposed bone.
How Can Microfracture Fix My Knee Cartilage Defect?
Microfracture is often used as a first treatment for small full thickness cartilage defects. The postoperative rehabilitation involves a period of limited weight bearing with crutches (4-6 weeks) and the use of a continuous passive motion machine (CPM). Large cartilage defects can be treated with microfracture or cartilage transplant.
Contact Dr. Fuchs, a knee specialist in Kirkland, WA, to learn more about treatment for cartilage injuries of the knee.