Arthroscopic knee cartilage repair with covered microfracture and bone marrow concentrate

Arthrosc Tech. 2012 Sep 14;1(2):e175-80. doi: 10.1016/j.eats.2012.07.001. Print 2012 Dec.


In recent years several single-stage cartilage repair approaches have been devised to treat focal cartilage lesions. These usually associate microfracture (MFX) and a coverage scaffold. We describe a novel arthroscopic technique that combines MFX, autologous bone marrow concentrate (BMC), and a protective scaffold. Bone marrow aspirate from the iliac crest is centrifuged to obtain BMC. The cartilage defect is debrided, MFX holes are created, and the final defect is measured by use of a bent K-wire. The scaffold is then shaped to match the defect, immersed in BMC, introduced into the joint with a grasper, and fixed in place with a mixture of fibrin glue and BMC. This technique aims to augment the original single-stage procedure with a number of mesenchymal stem cells and growth factors contained in the BMC, to increase the defect filling and the rate of hyaline-like cartilage regeneration. The procedure combining MFX, BMC, and a protective scaffold is inexpensive and reproducible and has already shown the ability to regenerate hyaline-like cartilage. Its use as an alternative to autologous chondrocyte implantation requires further investigation.