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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

About

Articular cartilage covers the ends of the bones that form your joints. Smooth, healthy cartilage allows the bones to glide across each other painlessly as you move. If you have significant damage to the articular cartilage in your knee, your consultant might recommend microfracture surgery to encourage new cartilage to form.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    Microfracture surgery is done using arthroscopy, 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 structure of your knee in detail. The whole procedure takes around an hour.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Before the procedure, your consultant may suggest several tests, including an X-ray or MRI scan to examine your knee. They will explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you. If you will be having general anaesthetic, they will let you know how long you should avoid eating and drinking beforehand.
  • Afterwards 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 can 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. Your consultant will let you know what to expect and may suggest 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.
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

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

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

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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