Articular cartilage injuries of the knee are characterized by pain and sometimes mechanical symptoms such and catching or locking. After MRI evaluation, a more detailed exploration by knee arthroscopy is often performed. The area of missing articular cartilage is examined and unstable pieces are trimmed. Then, multiple small channels are placed into the bone to allow bone marrow and its accompanying stem cells to flow into the knee. This matrix of cells ultimately heals as fibrocartilage and covers the exposed bone. Range of motion exercises are begun immediately, but weight-bearing is restricted up to 8 weeks. Full recovery may take several months to one year. Microfracture was invented by Dr. Richard Steadman – the patriarch of the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic in Denver, Colorado, where Dr. Bushnell received his fellowship training.
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