Knee microfracture surgery
Knee microfracture surgery is a common procedure used to repair damaged knee cartilage. Cartilage helps cushion and cover the area where bones meet in the joints.
Three types of anesthesia may be used for knee arthroscopy surgery:
- Medicine to relax you, and shots of painkillers to numb the knee
- Spinal (regional) anesthesia
- General anesthesia (you will be asleep and pain-free)
The surgeon will make a 1/4-inch surgical cut (incision) on your knee.
- A long, thin tube with a camera on the end is placed through this cut. This is called an arthroscope. The camera is attached to a video monitor in the operating room. This tool lets the surgeon look inside your knee area and work on the joint.
- The surgeon makes another surgical cut and passes tools through this opening. A small pointed tool called an awl is used to make very small holes in the bone near the damaged cartilage. These are called microfractures.
These holes release cells in your bones that build new cartilage to replace the damaged tissue.
Why the Procedure is Performed
You may need this procedure if you have damage to the cartilage in the knee joint and under the kneecap.
The goal of this surgery is to prevent or slow further damage to the cartilage. This will help prevent knee arthritis. It can help you avoid the need for a partial or total knee replacement.
This procedure is also used to treat knee pain due to cartilage injuries.
A surgery called autologous chondrocyte implantation is done for similar reasons.