Microfracture Surgery Can Repair Damaged Cartilage With a Quick Recovery Time
If you suffer from chronic knee pain, you may have worn or damaged cartilage. As the cushioning tissue inside your knee starts to wear away, your joint will grind painfully. Fortunately, Dr. Aron D. Rovner, MD, can often treat damaged cartilage with microfracture surgery at New York Spine and Sports Surgery in NYC. During this procedure, Dr. Rovner creates tiny fractures in your knee bone in order to stimulate cartilage growth. Because the treatment is minimally invasive, it involves a quick recovery. For this reason, microfracture surgery can be particularly beneficial if you are an athlete eager to get back in the game as soon as possible.
Traumatic, twisting injuries are a common cause of damaged knee cartilage.
Are You a Candidate for Microfracture Surgery?
If you have damaged or eroded knee cartilage, you may be a candidate for microfracture surgery. Symptoms of damaged cartilage can include:
- Knee pain, especially when walking or climbing stairs
- Knee swelling
- Popping when you walk
- Locking or stiff knees
- A knee that buckles or gives way
Typically, microfracture surgery is most suitable for patients age 15 to 50 who are at a healthy weight. In addition, while the procedure is very helpful for minor injuries, it is not appropriate for major tears. Dr. Rovner will examine your knee and overall health history. Then he can determine if microfracture surgery is right for you.
Cartilage injuries will not heal on their own. Therefore, in order to regain full mobility and to reduce chronic pain, treatment is necessary.
What to Expect During Microfracture Surgery
Microfracture surgery is an arthroscopic procedure. After an anesthesiologist provides general sedation, Dr. Rovner will make several tiny incisions in your knee. Inserting a small camera through these incisions, he can examine your joint and find the areas where cartilage is damaged. Then he will create tiny holes, or microfractures, in the bone. He will place each hole about 3 to 4 mm apart. Interpreting these holes as injuries, your body will send blood cells and bone marrow to your knee. The cells will form a healing clot, which will adhere to your bone due to the roughened surface area. Eventually, this clot will mature. As it hardens, it will form new cartilage.
In some cases, Dr. Rovner may combine microfracture surgery with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. First, he will take a sample of your blood. Then he will place it in a centrifuge to isolate the healing platelets. He will then inject the platelets into your joint, and they will help the new cartilage to develop faster.
Benefits of Microfracture Surgery
Cartilage injuries will not heal on their own. Therefore, in order to regain full mobility and to reduce chronic pain, treatment is necessary. Microfracture surgery offers several benefits over alternative treatment methods. Most significantly, the procedure is minimally invasive and requires a very short recovery. In most cases, you will be off crutches in 6 to 8 weeks. With proper care and dedication to physical therapy, your recovery may be even faster. For this reason, microfracture surgery is especially popular among athletes, since the advanced treatment can help them get back to normal very quickly.
Contact Us for a Consultation
Dr. Rovner is proud to provide this advanced therapy that uses the body's own healing properties to speed patients to recovery. To learn more about microfracture surgery and to find out if it is the right option for your chronic knee pain, contact Dr. Rovner’s offices today.