Microfracture Knee Surgery in Kirkland, WA

What is Microfracture Surgery for the Knee?

Knee microfracture surgery is a common procedure used to repair damaged knee cartilage. Cartilage helps cushion and cover the area where bones meet in the joints and this is a very effective procedure to help restore mobility. Microfracture surgery aims to restore a full-thickness cartilage defect of the knee.

Dr. Camille Clinton is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon highly trained in repairing damaged knee cartilage with microfracture knee surgery. If you are experiencing knee pain due to damaged cartilage and are in need of treatment, call (425) 899-4810 to request an appointment at our orthopedic surgery office in Kirkland, WA.

What is Microfracture Surgery for the Knee Used for?

When you have normal cartilage, it is smooth and allows your joint to glide easily. When you injure your cartilage, the smooth surface can become rough and sometimes the underlying bone is exposed. Microfracture is a technique that can be used to treat an articular cartilage injury or defect that exposes the bone. It is a common procedure used to treat patients with full thickness damage to the cartilage that goes all the way down to the bone.

How it Works

Microfracture surgery uses the body’s own healing abilities and provides an enriched environment for tissue regeneration on the chondral surface.

It is a joint procedure using a small sharp pick to create a network of holes in the bone at the base of the articular cartilage injury. These holes allow blood into the injured area to form a clot. Over time, this clot turns into organized tissue called fibrocartilage which fills in the injured area. This tissue helps restore joint function and minimize symptoms such as pain and swelling.

Microfracture Surgery Procedure

You will not feel any pain during the surgery.

Dr. Clinton can give you a variety of anesthesia depending on your preference. This may range from an injection to numb the knee, an injection in your spine so you have no feeling below your waist, anesthesia for your lower leg/knee, or general anesthesia to put you asleep and pain-free.

We want you to feel comfortable going into this procedure on your path toward healing your knee.

Your surgeon will:

  • Make a one quarter-inch (6 mm) surgical cut on your knee.
  • Place a long, thin tube with a camera on the end through this cut called an arthroscope. The camera is attached to a video monitor in the operating room allowing the surgeon to look inside your knee area and work on the joint.
  • Make another cut and pass tools through this opening.
  • A small pointed tool called an awl is used to make very small holes in the bone near the damaged cartilage called microfractures.
  • These holes connect to the bone marrow to release cells that can build new cartilage to replace the damaged tissue.

Effectiveness of the Procedure

Microfracture surgery is a simple but cost effective method to treat smaller cartilage injuries but not for large defects or defects with damage to the underlying bone. It is an excellent choice as an initial treatment of smaller articular cartilage injuries.

After the surgery:

  • You will likely need crutches to keep all weight off the knee for 6 weeks
  • Some may use a brace to keep the knee straight while walking for 6 weeks
  • Using a a machine to help you bend the knee (called a continuous passive motion or CPM machine) is recommended for 6-8 hours per day for 6 weeks after surgery
  • Return to strenuous activity or sports is often delayed for 6 to 9 months after surgery

Schedule Your Knee Surgery Consultation Today

Dr. Camille Clinton is a highly experienced kee specialist expertly trained in diagnosing and treating the cause of knee pain. Call to request an appointment at our orthopedic surgery office in Kirkland today.

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