Consultant Orthopaedic Knee and Trauma Surgeon
Running Knee Injury


If you have a localised traumatic injury to the articular cartilage lining the knee joint, Mr Clifton may have recommended a procedure called 'Microfracture'. This procedure is used as a first line treatment to try and encourage your bodies own marrow cells to grow and develop into fibrocartilage to plug the gap. It is very successful for the majority of patients but some patients may later require more complex and invasive treatments such a Matrix-Induced Autologous Chondrocyte Transplantation (MACI).

The damaged articular cartilage is resected to create a stable 'bed' using specialised instruments. Microfracture 'pics' are then used to create very precise 2mm holes in the underlying bone to allow the stem cells from your bone marrow to elute and form a marrow clot in the injured cartilage. Over around 12 months this clot matures into fibrocartilage.

Microfracture is more painful than a simple arthroscopy alone and you are often required to not put weight through the joint for a period of 6 to 8 weeks. You will have some swelling after the procedure but no necessarily any more than with a routine knee arthroscopy.

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