Knee Microfracture Surgery

What is Microfracture Surgery?

Microfracture surgery is a common surgical procedure used to repair the cartilage that has been damaged inside of your joints, specifically your knee. The cartilage in these joints helps to cover the area where your bones meet and offer some level of microfracture-249x300protection. But if that protection is no longer being offered because the joints have been loosened, you may qualify for a surgical option

What is the Microfracture Surgery like?

There are three types of anesthesia used for this surgery. The first is a shot of painkillers which will be used to numb the area and to relax you. The second is possibly a regional anesthesia. The third is a general anesthesia which will cause you to fall asleep and wake up after the procedure.

The Los Angeles knee surgeon will then use a small knife to make an incision that is one quarter of an inch on your joint. A long and thin tube is then placed through the cut , containing a camera on the end. This tool is referred to as an arthroscope. The camera is attached to a video screen inside of the operating room so that the surgeon can look inside of the joint and work around it.

Once the problem area has been discovered the Beverly Hills orthopedic surgeon will make an additional surgical cut through which the microscopic surgical tools are passed. There is a pointed tool used to make holes inside of the bone near your damage cartilage which is called and awl. The damage cartilage and the holes made are called microfractures. The small holes will release blood and healing factors into the damaged area, that help to build up new fibrocartilage inside of the joint thereby replacing any damaged tissue.

Who qualifies for this procedure?

This procedure is performed if you have damage to the cartilage located directly under your kneecap inside of your knee joint. That means anyone who has severe damage to their knee cartilage that cannot be repaired or replaced with nonsurgical treatment options can qualify. The goal of this procedure is to prevent further damage to your cartilage and to also prevent arthritis from forming.

Unfortunately, the type of cartilage that forms after the procedure is not the same that was there initially. It is fibrocartilage. This cartilage is inferior, however, it may hold up well for a few years.

What are the potential complications following Microfracture Surgery?

As with any surgical process, the use of anesthesia can result in breathing problems or an allergic reaction. The surgery can result in an infection, bleeding, or a blood clot. The microfracture surgery itself can result in a breakdown of your cartilage overtime. The new cartilage which the microfracture surgery creates may not be as strong as your original cartilage which can lead it to break down with ease. This can also result in increased stiffness in your joint.

What happens before the procedure?

Before the procedure the hospital will contact you and let you know what medications you need to stop taking and what items you should stop eating or drinking. If you have any sicknesses or take any supplements without a prescription you must let your doctor know ahead of time. On the day of surgery you will generally be asked to avoid eating or drinking anything for 12 hours prior to your surgical procedure. The hospital will let you know what time you need to arrive.

References:

http://thesteadmanclinic.com/knee_microfracture/overview.asp

http://www.jcl.com/medical-services/orthopedics/knee-surgery-video/microfracture-knee-surgery