Microfracture surgery

Articular cartilage repair

A procedure to treat small areas of knee cartilage damage by making tiny holes in the bone surface to form new cartilage

What is microfracture surgery?

Surface cartilage covers the ends of the bones that form your joints. Smooth, healthy cartilage allows the bones to glide across each other smoothly and painlessly as you move.

If you have significant damage to an isolated patch of the surface cartilage in your knee, your consultant might recommend microfracture surgery to encourage new cartilage to form.

Need to know

  • What happens during microfracture surgery? icon plus

    Microfracture surgery is performed as a keyhole procedure (arthroscopic), which involves inserting a tiny camera called an arthroscope and specialised surgical instruments into small keyhole cuts around your knee. The arthroscope sends images to your surgeon via a monitor, which allows them to see the inside of your knee in detail. 
  • Prior to surgery icon plus

    Before the procedure, your consultant may suggest several tests, including an X-ray or MRI scan to assess your knee. They will explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have. Like all procedures, there may be some potential risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you. 
  • Post surgery recovery icon plus

    You should be able to go home the same day as your procedure. You will be given painkillers to help keep any discomfort to a minimum immediately following surgery. Ice may be helpful to reduce pain and swelling, as can elevating your leg.

    To allow the microfracture to work, you will need to use crutches for several weeks, and you will likely need to use a continuous passive motion machine (CPM). CPM is an integral part of your recovery and return to your everyday activities. Your consultant will let you know what to expect and you may be given physiotherapy exercises to help improve your mobility as you recover. They will also let you know when you can get back to your usual routine, including work or exercise.

Our knee consultants

We're proud to work with leading orthopaedic experts, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our locations

From complex knee surgery to diagnostic scans and procedures, we provide exceptional orthopaedic care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request a knee appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced knee consultants. We can also make imaging and outpatient physiotherapy appointments for you.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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