Azalea Orthopedics receives orthopedic questions through the Ask An Orthopedist page and provides answers from Azalea doctors!
Question: I have a grade 4 cartilage fracture on the femur of one knee. I’m in my 40’s and live a fairly active lifestyle and enjoy biking and jogging. Is this injury best repaired (for long term function) by microfracture or OATS?
The Osteoarticular Transfer System (OATS) replaces damaged cartilage in the knee with healthy cartilage from another area of the joint. This procedure aims to relieve pain and restore movement and function.
Microfracture is an arthroscopic procedure performed to repair damaged knee cartilage for patients with cartilage injuries or only a minimal amount of damage. This procedure often helps patients avoid or postpone the need for knee replacement and is most commonly performed in athletes who may have suffered cartilage injuries while playing sports.
Answer: My personal preference for someone your age is OATS. I think it has a better chance of long-term improvement than microfracture, and it sounds like the cartilage problem is in a place that is amenable to OATS. Discuss this with your orthopedist.