What is Cartilage Microfracture?
Cartilage microfracture is a surgical procedure performed to replace the worn-out articular cartilage with new cartilage.
What is the Articular Cartilage?
Articular or hyaline cartilage is the tissue that covers the bone surface of the knee which helps in smooth interaction between the two bones in the knee joint. It has less capacity to repair by itself because there is no direct blood supply to cartilage.
Indications for Cartilage Microfracture
It is usually performed to treat small areas of cartilage damage usually caused by sports or traumatic injuries. It is not indicated if you have advanced arthritis of the knee.
Cartilage replacement helps relieve pain, restore normal function, and can delay or prevent the onset of arthritis. The goal of the cartilage replacement procedures is to stimulate the growth of new hyaline cartilage.
Procedure for Cartilage Microfracture
Microfracture is an arthroscopic procedure. It involves creating numerous tiny holes in the injured joint surface using a special tool called an awl.
The holes are made in the bone under the cartilage, called the subchondral bone. This creates a new blood supply to the cartilage, which stimulates the growth of new cartilage.
Following cartilage replacement procedures such as microfracture, your doctor may recommend physical therapy to help improve mobility in the affected joint.