Hi all,

I am scheduled to undergo knee surgery in a few weeks to repair a substantial level of osteochondral (articular cartilage) damage in my knee. The cartilage in question is of the lateral femoral condyle and it involves a weight bearing part also.
This injury happened to me approximately 14 months ago playing a contact sport. I initially underwent an arthroscopic procedure to repair meniscal damage, however the surgeon upon one month review stated that he was concerned about the substantial level of cartilage damage he noticed when doing the scope.

1 year has passed, and despite my best efforts of working closely with a physio to rebuild muscle strength and maintain flexibility, I was still hampered by significant pain especially when turning (while playing sport), landing, jumping, kneeling, and also frequent locking, swelling and catching sensations too.

I decided to reattend my surgeon to seek further support and he has been adamant that It is one area in particular in relation to sport's injuries that tends to be quite difficult to repair and enable a return to pre-injury level.
That being said, he has booked me in for surgery in a few weeks, and will conduct an initial arthroscopic procedure an d depending on the damage will either progress to carrying out AMIC surgery or Oats. He has stated that more than likely it will be AMIC surgery (autologous-matrix induced chondrogenesis) as it is a relatively new surgical procedure, and has exhibited notable results in the larger lesions of cartilage.

AMIC surgery seems to comprise of the beneficial aspects of microfracture surgery, whilst correcting some of it's notable flaws, such as the ability of the process to regenerate long-lasting cartilage (Sorry for my laymans way of describing the various procedures, I just happen to know the basics).
The main difference however is that it involves a membrane coating applied on top of the damaged area which further stimulates the healing process.

Seeing as this surgery is a relatively new technique, the literature around it is extremely limited- even more so for athletes. I would be delighted to hear from anyone who has any knowledge on this procedure, or even microfracture in general.
Questions i'd love to learn more about are:

How big of a challenge are osteochondral lesions in terms of athletes returning to sport?
What are the success rates for AMIC surgery for athletes? (If you haven't heard about this procedure what's the success rate for microfracture?
Does the regenerative cartilage formed with this membrane coating last a long time? Or does it tend to break down after a few years?

Many thanks,
any information would be greatly appreciated

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