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When cartilage in a joint is worn thin or damaged from an injury, it can result in inflammation and pain. Without enough cartilage between the bones, there is friction during movement that can further damage the joint. Cartilage often does not repair itself or make scar tissue on its own. To stimulate healing of damaged cartilage, our orthopedic surgeons at DOCS Health may perform microfracture surgery for joint preservation at our facility in Los Angeles.

Cartilage does not repair itself easily like other tissues, as there is a limited blood supply. However, there are cells that can create new cartilage if access to the blood supply is increased. Microfracture surgery for joint preservation uses a medical tool to create small holes in the bone where cartilage is missing. This can bring the blood supply to the surface, nourishing the cartilage and stimulating growth of new cells to repair the damaged cartilage.

Arthroscopy for Cartilage Repair

Microfracture surgery is performed through arthroscopy. Small incisions around the joint allow an arthroscope with a small camera and light to be inserted into the joint to relay images to a monitor. Other incisions are used to access the portion of damaged cartilage with specialized tools. First, the area is cleaned or debrided, removing any debris from the joint. Second, the small incisions or holes are made in the bone to stimulate blood flow and cartilage repair.

Microfracture surgery has the best results on patients with minimal cartilage loss in a specific area. Younger patients who have damaged cartilage from an injury may be ideal candidates. The surgery is minimally-invasive with a quick recovery after the procedure.

If you have cartilage damage, there are advanced medical procedures that may be able to relieve pain and slow joint deterioration. Contact our team of orthopedic joint specialists at our clinic in Los Angeles to learn more about microfracture surgery for joint preservation and other treatment options.