Articular cartilage regeneration with microfracture and hyaluronic acid.
ABSTRACT Microfracture used to treat articular cartilage injuries can facilitate access to stem cells in the bone marrow and stimulate cartilage regeneration. However, the regenerated cartilage is fibrocartilage as opposed to hyaline articular cartilage and is thinner than native cartilage. Following microfracture in rabbit knee cartilage defects, application of hyaluronic acid gel resulted in regeneration of a thicker, more hyaline-like cartilage. The addition of transforming growth factor-beta3, an inducer of chondrogenic differentiation in mesenchymal stem cells, to the treatment with microfracture and hyaluronic acid did not significantly benefit cartilage regeneration.