Clin Orthop Surg.  2019 Sep;11(3):282-290. 10.4055/cios.2019.11.3.282.

Clinical and Radiological Changes after Microfracture of Knee Chondral Lesions in Middle-Aged Asian Patients

  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hanil Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Suvekchya International Hospital, Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • 3Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Gwangmyeong Sungae Hospital, Gwangmyeong, Korea.
  • 4Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Although microfracture is widely accepted as an effective treatment option for knee chondral lesions, little is known about the deterioration of clinical outcomes and radiological progression in middle-aged patients. Therefore, this study was conducted to evaluate the clinical and radiological changes after microfracture of knee chondral lesions in middle-aged Asian patients.
A total of 71 patients were included in the study. They were between the ages of 40 and 60 years and underwent arthroscopic microfracture for localized full-thickness cartilage defects of the knee from January 2000 to September 2015. The recovery status of chondral lesions was assessed by using the magnetic resonance observation of cartilage repair tissue (MOCART) score in postoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Clinical and radiological results were reviewed, and survival rate with conversion to arthroplasty or osteotomy as an end point was evaluated.
The mean age of the patients at surgery was 51.3 ± 4.7 years (range, 40 to 60 years), and the mean follow-up period was 7.2 ± 2.6 years (range, 1.0 to 17.4 years). The MOCART scores of 32 patients at mean postoperative 2.1 years showed three cases (9%) of full recovery, two cases (7%) of hyperplastic recovery, 23 cases (70%) with more than 50% filling, and four cases (14%) with less than 50% filling. Clinical scores improved significantly at 1 year after surgery (p < 0.05); however, the scores deteriorated over time after postoperative 1 year, and the mean values reached preoperative levels at postoperative 10 years. Significant radiological progression of arthritis (Kellgren-Lawrence grade) was observed at 5 years after surgery. Four patients underwent total knee arthroplasty during follow-up.
Most patients showed more than 50% of defect filling at 2 years after surgery on MRI. Clinical results of microfracture of knee chondral lesion showed the best improvement at postoperative 1 year but gradually worsened thereafter until postoperative 10 years. Radiological progression of arthritis was observed from 5 years after surgery.


Microfracture; Treatment outcome; Cartilage; Knee
Full Text Links
  • CIOS
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2021 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: