In the US, approximately 80,000 microfracture procedures are performed each year with the estimated number being much larger. However, in 2015, the Journal of Arthroscopy (JARS) published editorials calling into question whether there was evidence to support the continued use of microfracture as a joint preservation method because new evidence on subchondral bone disruption and marrow channel access have highlighted the mechanical and design shortfalls in traditional microfracture procedures. This recent Expert Opinion Review summarizes the contemporary literature.
New Microfracture Study:
Considering that microfracture surgery is one of the most frequently used procedures for cartilage repair, the Hospital for Special Surgery in conjunction with Cornell University recently performed a comparative study where researchers found that smaller diameter instruments (Nanofracture®) showed the best prospects of accessing repair cells and were substantially less damaging when compared to traditional microfracture/k-wire instruments.
Based on their findings showing considerable differences, the authors concluded that the choice of cartilage repair technique should be carefully considered.