Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Ankle FAQ

Question:

I have heard of microfractures in treating injuries like cartilage tears. What is the procedure?

Answer:

You are correct. One technique that doctors can use to repair cartilage in the knee is called microfractures. To do this procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision in your knee and inserts an awl to drill tiny holes into the bone, as close as possible to the tear or hole in the cartilage.

When the holes have been drilled, some bone marrow will seep out of the holes and then begin to clot. This allows cartilage-building cells to form and the hole or tear will be repaired. Gunnar Knutsen, MD, et al. A Randomized Trial Comparing Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation with Microfracture. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. October 2007. Vol. 89A. No. 10. Pp. 2105-2112.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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