Microfracture surgery is one of the many articular cartilage repair techniques available to orthopedic surgeons today. The operation is typically carried out for the treatment of small cartilage defects.
Microfracture is best known for being cheap (1-3.000 $), minimally invasive and efficient.
The main idea behind the procedure is to create very small (micro) holes (fractures) in the underlying bone, thus the microfracture name. The operation allows the creation of new cartilage in the area where the cartilage defect was. This new cartilage is not the same as the one we are originally born with (called hyaline cartilage), but instead is called fibrocartilage.
Most microfracture operations are carried out in knees, although some doctors have started recently to perform it on other joints, like the ankle and elbow.