BMLs cause pain alone and that compounds the pain of osteoarthritis. We can relieve pain by treating BMLs with bone augmentation, also known as subchondroplasty. Bone augmentation not only relieves pain but provides support to the bone underneath the cartilage.
Bone marrow lesions
Wear and tear on the knee causes microfractures to the bone, keeping it in a constant cycle of repair. BMLs are evidence of this fixed state of reparation. In recent studies, people with BMLs are nine times more likely to need total knee replacement surgery.
BMLs are painful. We used to believe that where there was more pain, there was more arthritis. We now know that is wrong – BMLs often appear alongside osteoarthritis and contribute to the pain of it.
Treating these lesions can reduce pain in knee joint arthritis.
How bone augmentation works
Bone augmentation is best suited to patients with painful BMLs and poor response to other treatments.
Despite using keyhole techniques, bone augmentation is a surgical procedure. With any surgery, there comes a set of risks and contraindications. You may be unsuitable if you have:
- A BMI over 40
- Severe malalignment of the knee joint
- Cardiovascular disease