Marrow stimulation techniques, including microfracture, are among the most commonly performed cartilage restoration procedures for symptomatic chondral defects of the knee. For the vast majority of patients, marrow stimulation results in reduced pain and improved function, providing overall satisfactory outcomes. In some cases, however, marrow stimulation fails, resulting in symptom recurrence and often, the need for repeat surgery. This review will describe the indications and outcomes of microfracture as a primary surgical treatment for focal chondral defects of the knee, identify patient and procedure-specific factors associated with poor clinical outcomes, and will discuss treatment options and their respective outcomes for patients with a failed prior microfracture surgery.
*Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
†El-Hadara University Hospital, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt
Disclosure: Brian Cole receives research support from Aesculap/B.Braun, Arthrex, Cytori, Medipost, Pssur, Smith & Nephew, Tornier, and Zimmer; is a paid consultant for Arthrex, Regentis, and Zimmer; receives royalties from Arthrex, DJ Orthopaedics, Elsevier, Saunders/MosbyElsevier, and SLACK Inc; and has stock/stock options in Carticept and Regentis. The other authors have no conflict of interest to declare.
Reprints: Brian Cole, MD, MBA, Rush University Medical Center, 1611 W Harrison St, Suite 300 Chicago, IL 60612.