The report suggests the talented Mr. Clowney will be out for 9 months or more. Just what is microfracture surgery and why does it take as long to recovery as it does for a baby to born?
Microfracture surgery is an attempt to create a tire patch over a cartilage defect by poking a hole in the end of the bone and creating an access channel to the bone marrow. The bone marrow then leaks out via the holes that are created and forms a clot which over time can help cover the defect. It takes time, many months, for this surgery to work because the "patch" needs to mature. This technique is useful for small defects in the cartilage but hasn't proven to be great for larger defects. We do not know the size of Mr. Clowney's knee cartilage injury.
Recent evidence suggests that the addition of platelet-rich plasma can enhance microfracture surgery results. This has been shown in basic science, preclinical and now clinical studies.
This type of surgery at such a young age is clearly not a good sign. In the long run, he may require further intervention. Please read the post below for further information about why we need to accelerate our regenerative medicine efforts. Mr. Clowney is one of tens of millions of people worldwide with symptomatic cartilage damage. We need to maximize outcomes of today's surgical techniques and develop new procedures to help keep our athletes and patients in the game.