Microfracture Technique - Diagnosis

After articular cartilage damage has been diagnosed, what factors are indications for microfracture?

The general indications for microfracture are:

  • The patient has a full-thickness defect (loss of articular cartilage down to the bone) in either a weightbearing area between the femur and tibia or in an area of contact between the back of the patella and the groove it slides in.
  • The patient has unstable cartilage covering the underlying bone.
  • The patient has degenerative changes in a knee that is normally aligned.

Important factors to consider for use of the microfracture procedure are:

  • The patient's age (as a relative indication)
  • The patient's activity level
  • Whether or not the patient has acceptable alignment of the knee. "Knock-kneed" or "bowlegged" patients may not be good cadidates for this procedure.

When is microfracture not recommended for a patient?

  • the patient's knee is poorly aligned.
  • the patient's chondral defect is not all the way through the full thickness of the cartilage.
  • the patient is not willing to follow a strict and rigorous rehabilitation protocol.
  • the patient is older (generally over 65) and might have difficulty with crutch use and the rehabilitation process.
  • the patient has disease-induced arthritis, cartilage disease, or any disease affecting the immune system (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis).

About Doctor Barrow...

Dr Michael Stuart Barrow is an Orthopaedic Surgeon who specialises in knee surgery. He practices from Sunninghill Hospital and the Waterfall Sports Centre.
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Contact Details

Dr. Michael Barrow

Tel: 011 806 1772/0 and 011 806 1657
Fax: 011 806 1796
Cell: 082 925 4940

After Hours:
Sunninghill Casualty: 011 806 1652

Sunninghill Hospital
Suite 5, East Wing
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