AOSSM Logo Microfracture is a technique usually employed by surgeons for excluding damaged cartilage and increasing blood flow from the underlying bone. Well, it seems that young patients benefit the most from such a technique. According to a latest study, microfracture for pediatric knee injury repair enhances activity outcomes among young patients. This surgical treatment may help to not only regain function, but also return back on a normal activity level after surgery and rehabilitation.

While conducting the investigation, 26 patients between the ages of 12-18 years with articular cartilage knee defects were analyzed. From the total of 26 patients, 12 were men and 14 women. All the volunteers were diagnosed with a standard knee arthroscopy procedure, wherein a small device is inserted into a joint through a cut. Scientists adopted the microfracture technique for making holes placed 3 to 4 mm in depth. Knee functions like ability to limp, support, stair climbing, squatting, instability, swelling, pain and locking were scrutinized.

“Our study focused on patients with articular cartilage injuries to the knee, which can be a debilitating source of pain and a strong limitation to function in pediatric patients,” said lead author, Richard Steadman, MD, Founder, Steadman Philippon Research Institute. “Articular cartilage defects are known to increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis and so it is advisable to treat the defect in order to minimize future joint disorders. Using microfracture might be one way to treat these issues.”

On an average, patients scored 90 on function score from a range of 50-100 along with a median activity level of 6 from a range of 2-10. Improvement in knee function seemingly points out the ease in performing recreational activities after surgery. In conclusion, it was asserted that microfracture helps repair pediatric knee injury and regains knee function among young patients.

The study was presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s Specialty Day in San Diego.