Microfracture works for some, sucks for others. It definitely sucked for me and I had a lesion that was more on the smaller side. My knee never got back to even 50%. When I walked on it, even seven months after the surgery, I had the worst gait in the world and bad pain with each step I took.
I did the DeNovo and a week after surgery, it felt completely different, in a good way. It took me nearly 6 weeks to get to full leg flexion after microfracture, about 2 and a half weeks for the DeNovo. The swelling and edema was the worst trouble I had after microfracture and all the ice and ibuprofen in the world couldn't keep the swelling down. I am 6 weeks out from DeNovo and while it swells slightly with activity, at rest, there is zero swelling. I feel like I have a lot more flexibility this time around.
I know DeNovo is only available in the U.S. but I do believe there are other alternatives to microfracture in Europe that involve single stage ACI. It just depends on your injury. Although, some OS' do not have a choice about doing microfracture or something else because the insurance company will just deny the advanced single stage ACI's. The main reason most OS' are still doing microfracture is because it is the cheapest of the cartilage repairs, that still show somewhat of a success rate, which is what insurance companies like to see.