Cartilage defects that are less than 2cm squared are best treated with cell free cartilage repair surgery such as advanced microfracture (AMIC). This procedure has been successfully used to treat cartilage defects for many years and gives a predictable fibrocartilage repair tissue and excellent symptom relief for 7-10 years.

The surgery involves creating a stable sided contained defect with no loose cartilage flaps, the defect is then patched with a synthetic scaffold and bone marrow aspirate from the patient to fill the defect with a cover which the body then uses to create new tissue.

Single stage cartilage repair

Healed microfracture

This surgery is performed as a day case using keyhole surgery. You are mobilised on crutches for the first 4 to 6 weeks and full recovery can take 3-6 months.

The UK cartilage repair consensus statement recommends microfracture for small (up to 2cm2 defects), for larger defects either autologus chondrocyte therapy or osteochondral transfer is recommended.