This study assessed the clinical results and second-look arthroscopy after fibrin matrix-mixed gel-type autologous chondrocyte implantation to treat osteochondral lesions of the talus.
Chondrocytes were harvested from the cuboid surface of the calcaneus in 38 patients and cultured, and gel-type autologous chondrocyte implantation was performed with or without medial malleolar osteotomy. Preoperative American orthopedic foot and ankle society ankle-hind foot scores, visual analogue score, Hannover scoring system and subjective satisfaction were investigated, and the comparison of arthroscopic results (36/38, 94.7 %) and MRI investigation of chondral recovery was performed. Direct tenderness and relationship to the active daily life of the donor site was evaluated.
The preoperative mean ankle–hind foot scores (71 ± 14) and Hannover scoring system (65 ± 10) had increased to 91 ± 12 and 93 ± 14, respectively, at 24-month follow-up (p < 0.0001), and the preoperative visual analogue score of 58 mm had decreased to 21 mm (p < 0.0001). Regarding subjective satisfaction, 34 cases (89.5 %) reported excellent, good or fair. Chondral regeneration was analysed by second-look arthroscopy and MRI. Complications included one non-union and two delayed-unions of the osteotomy sites, and 9 ankles (9/31, 29.0 %) sustained damaged medial malleolar cartilage due to osteotomy. Marked symptoms at the biopsy site did not adversely affect the patient’s active daily life.
Fibrin matrix-mixed gel-type autologous chondrocyte implantation using the cuboid surface of the calcaneus as a donor can be used for treating osteochondral lesions of the talus.
Level of evidence
Therapeutic study, prospective case series, Level IV.
Talus; Osteochondral lesion; Autologous chondrocyte implantation; Arthroscopy; Donor
In undetached osteochondral lesions (OCL) of the talus both revitalisation of the subchondral necrosis and cartilage preservation are essential. For these cases, we assess the results of minimally invasive retrograde core drilling and cancellous bone grafting.
Forty-one osteochondral lesions of the talus (12x grade I, 22x grade II and 7x grade III according to the Pritsch classification, defect sizes 7–14 mm) in 38 patients (mean age 33.2 years) treated by fluoroscopy-guided retrograde core drilling and autologous cancellous bone grafting were evaluated by clinical scores and MRI. The mean follow-up was 29.0 (±13) months.
The AOFAS score increased significantly from 47.3 (±15.3) to 80.8 (±18.6) points. Lesions with intact cartilage (grades I and II) had a tendency to superior results than grade III lesions (83.1 ± 17.3 vs. 69.4 ± 22.2 points, p = 0.07). First-line treatments and open distal tibial growth plates led to significantly better outcomes (each p < 0.05). Age, gender, BMI, time to follow-up, defect localisation or a traumatic origin did not influence the score results. On a visual analogue scale pain intensity reduced from 7.5 (±1.5) to 3.7 (±2.6) while subjective function increased from 4.6 (±2.0) to 8.2 (±2.3) (each p < 0.001). In MRI follow-ups, five of the 41 patients showed a complete bone remodelling. In two cases demarcation was detectable.
The technique reported is a highly effective therapeutic option in OCL of the talus with intact cartilage grades I and II. However, second-line treatments and grade III lesions with cracked cartilage surface can not be generally recommended for this procedure.
We asked whether autologous chondrocyte implantation or osteochondral autograft transfer yields better clinical outcomes compared with one another or with traditional abrasive techniques for treatment of isolated articular cartilage defects and whether lesion size influences this clinical outcome. We performed a literature search and identified five randomized, controlled trials and one prospective comparative trial evaluating these treatment techniques in 421 patients. The operative procedures included autologous chondrocyte implantation, osteochondral autograft transfer, matrix-induced autologous chondrocyte implantation, and microfracture. Minimum followup was 1 year (mean, 1.7 years; range, 1–3 years). All studies documented greater than 95% followup for clinical outcome measures. No technique consistently had superior results compared with the others. Outcomes for microfracture tended to be worse in larger lesions. All studies reported improvement in clinical outcome measures in all treatment groups when compared with preoperative assessment; however, no control (nonoperative) groups were used in any of the studies. A large prospective trial investigating these techniques with the addition of a control group would be the best way to definitively address the clinical questions.
Level of Evidence: Level II, therapeutic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Osteochondral lesions of the talus are common injuries in the athletic patient. They present a challenging clinical problem as cartilage has a poor potential for healing. Current surgical treatments consist of reparative (microfracture) or replacement (autologous osteochondral graft) strategies and demonstrate good clinical outcomes at the short and medium term follow-up. Radiological findings and second-look arthroscopy however, indicate possible poor cartilage repair with evidence of fibrous infill and fissuring of the regenerative tissue following microfracture. Longer-term follow-up echoes these findings as it demonstrates a decline in clinical outcome. The nature of the cartilage repair that occurs for an osteochondral graft to become integrated with the native surround tissue is also of concern. Studies have shown evidence of poor cartilage integration, with chondrocyte death at the periphery of the graft, possibly causing cyst formation due to synovial fluid ingress. Biological adjuncts, in the form of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC), have been investigated with regard to their potential in improving cartilage repair in both in vitro and in vitro settings. The in vitro literature indicates that these biological adjuncts may increase chondrocyte proliferation as well as synthetic capability, while limiting the catabolic effects of an inflammatory joint environment. These findings have been extrapolated to in vitro animal models, with results showing that both PRP and BMAC improve cartilage repair. The basic science literature therefore establishes the proof of concept that biological adjuncts may improve cartilage repair when used in conjunction with reparative and replacement treatment strategies for osteochondral lesions of the talus.
Osteochondral lesion; Cartilage repair; Platelet-rich plasma; Bone marrow aspirate concentrate
A 23-year-old recreational male athlete presented with intermittent pain of three weeks duration, localized to the left ankle. Pain was aggravated by walking, although his symptoms had not affected the patient’s jogging activity which was performed three times per week. Past history revealed an inversion sprain of the left ankle, sustained fifteen months previously. Examination showed mild swelling anterior to the ankle mortise joint while other tests including range of motion, strength and motion palpation of specific joints of the ankle were noted to be unremarkable. Radiographic findings revealed a defect in the medial aspect of the talus. An orthopaedic referral was made for further evaluation. Tomography revealed a Grade III osteochondral lesion of the talus.
It was determined that follow-up views be taken in three months to demonstrate if the lesion was progressing or healing. Within the three month period, activity modifications and modalities for pain control were indicated. Surgery was considered a reasonable option should conservative measures fail.
The present case illustrates an osteochondral lesion of the talus, a condition which has not previously been reported in the chiropractic literature. A review of the pertinent orthopaedic literature has indicated an average delay of three years in diagnosing the existence of this lesion.
Although considered rare, the diagnostic frequency of the condition appears to be on the rise due to increased awareness and the use of bone and CT scans. The osteochondral lesion of the talus deserves particular consideration by practitioners working with athletes due to its higher incidence within this group. This diagnosis should be considered in patients presenting with chronic ankle pain particularly when a history of an inversion sprain exists.
The purpose of this report is to increase awareness of this condition, and review diagnosis and management strategies.
osteochondral lesion; talus; osteochondritis dissecans; diagnosis; chiropractic; athletic injuries; ankle
While injuries of the upper extremity are widely discussed in rock climbers, reports about the lower extremity are rare. Nevertheless almost 50 percent of acute injuries involve the leg and feet. Acute injuries are either caused by ground falls or rock hit trauma during a fall. Most frequently strains, contusions and fractures of the calcaneus and talus. More rare injuries, as e.g., osteochondral lesions of the talus demand a highly specialized care and case presentations with combined iliac crest graft and matrix associated autologous chondrocyte transplantation are given in this review. The chronic use of tight climbing shoes leads to overstrain injuries also. As the tight fit of the shoes changes the biomechanics of the foot an increased stress load is applied to the fore-foot. Thus chronic conditions as subungual hematoma, callosity and pain resolve. Also a high incidence of hallux valgus and hallux rigidus is described.
Rock climbing; Sport climbing; Feet injuries; Hallux valgus; Overstrain injuries
Osteochondritis dissecans of the knee primarily affects subchondral bone, with a secondary effect on the overlying articular cartilage. This process can lead to pain, effusions, and loose body formation. While stable juvenile lesions often respond well to nonoperative management, unstable juvenile lesions, as well as symptomatic adult lesions, often require operative intervention. Short-term goals focus on symptomatic relief, while long-term expectations include the hope of preventing early-onset arthritis. Surgical options include debridement, loose body removal, microfracture, arthroscopic reduction and internal fixation, subchondral drilling, osteochondral autograft or allograft transplantation, and autologous chondrocyte implantation. Newer single-stage cell-based procedures have also been developed, utilizing mesenchymal stem cells and matrix augmentation. Proper treatment requires evaluation of both lesional (size, depth, stability) and patient (age, athletic level) characteristics.
Osteochondritis dissecans; Knee; Microfracture; Osteochondral autologous transplant; Drilling; Internal fixation; Allograft; Autologous chondrocyte implantation; Loose body; Surgical treatment; Cartilage
We reviewed 21 patients with rheumatoid arthritis who had a total ankle replacement between 1984 and 2000. The average follow-up was 72 (15–169) months. Clinical results were evaluated using the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) score. At the latest review, three ankles had been revised. Two ankles were excellent, seven good, three fair, and 12 poor. Eleven patients with 13 ankles had residual pain, with radiographs showing a high incidence of radiolucent lines. Migration of the tibial component was seen in 13 ankles and collapse of talus in nine. Although clinical results were poor, patient satisfaction was not.
The objective of this study was to determine the clinical outcome of combined bone grafting and matrix-supported autologous chondrocyte transplantation in patients with osteochondritis dissecans of the knee. Between January 2003 and March 2005, 21 patients (mean age 29.33 years) with symptomatic osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) of the medial or lateral condyle (grade III or IV) of the knee underwent reconstruction of the joint surface by autologous bone grafts and matrix-supported autologous chondrocyte transplantation. Patients were followed up at three, six, 12 and 36 months to determine outcomes by clinical evaluation based on Lysholm score, IKDC and ICRS score. Clinical results showed a significant improvement of Lysholm-score and IKDC score. With respect to clinical assessment, 18 of 21 patients showed good or excellent results 36 months postoperatively. Our study suggests that treatment of OCD with autologous bone grafts and matrix-supported autologous chondrocytes is a possible alternative to osteochondral cylinder transfer or conventional ACT.
The aim of this study was to summarize all eligible studies to compare the effectiveness of treatment strategies for osteochondral defects (OCD) of the talus. Electronic databases from January 1966 to December 2006 were systematically screened. The proportion of the patient population treated successfully was noted, and percentages were calculated. For each treatment strategy, study size weighted success rates were calculated. Fifty-two studies described the results of 65 treatment groups of treatment strategies for OCD of the talus. One randomized clinical trial was identified. Seven studies described the results of non-operative treatment, 4 of excision, 13 of excision and curettage, 18 of excision, curettage and bone marrow stimulation (BMS), 4 of an autogenous bone graft, 2 of transmalleolar drilling (TMD), 9 of osteochondral transplantation (OATS), 4 of autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI), 3 of retrograde drilling and 1 of fixation. OATS, BMS and ACI scored success rates of 87, 85 and 76%, respectively. Retrograde drilling and fixation scored 88 and 89%, respectively. Together with the newer techniques OATS and ACI, BMS was identified as an effective treatment strategy for OCD of the talus. Because of the relatively high cost of ACI and the knee morbidity seen in OATS, we conclude that BMS is the treatment of choice for primary osteochondral talar lesions. However, due to great diversity in the articles and variability in treatment results, no definitive conclusions can be drawn. Further sufficiently powered, randomized clinical trials with uniform methodology and validated outcome measures should be initiated to compare the outcome of surgical strategies for OCD of the talus.
Ankle; Osteochondral lesion; Defect; Talus; Systematic review; Arthroscopy
Chronic lateral ankle instability often accompanies intra-articular lesions, and arthroscopy is often useful in diagnosis and treatment of intra-articular lesions.
Preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations and arthroscopic findings were reviewed retrospectively and compared in 65 patients who underwent surgery for chronic lateral ankle instability from January 2006 to January 2010. MR images obtained were assessed by two radiologists, and the inter- and intra-observer reliability was calculated. American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) and visual analogue scale (VAS) scores were evaluated.
Abnormalities of the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) were found in all 65 (100%) cases. In arthroscopy examinations, 33 (51%) cases had talar cartilage lesions, and 3 (5%) cases had 'tram-track' cartilage lesion. Additionally, 39 (60%) cases of synovitis, 9 (14%) cases of anterior impingement syndrome caused by osteophyte, 14 (22%) cases of impingement syndrome caused by fibrotic band and tissue were found. Sensitivity of MRI examination for each abnormality was: ATFL, 60%; osteochondral lesion of talus (OLT), 46%; syndesmosis injury, 21%; synovitis, 21%; anterior impingement syndrome caused by osteophyte, 22%. Paired intra-observer reliability was measured by a kappa statistic of 0.787 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.641 to 0.864) for ATFL injury, 0.818 (95% CI, 0.743 to 0.908) for OLT, 0.713 (95% CI, 0.605 to 0.821) for synovitis, and 0.739 (95% CI, 0.642 to 0.817) for impingement. Paired inter-observer reliability was measured by a kappa statistic of 0.381 (95% CI, 0.241 to 0.463) for ATFL injury, 0.613 (95% CI, 0.541 to 0.721) for OLT, 0.324 (95% CI, 0.217 to 0.441) for synovitis, and 0.394 (95% CI, 0.249 to 0.471) for impingement. Mean AOFAS score increased from 64.5 to 87.92 (p < 0.001) when there was no intra-articular lesion, from 61.07 to 89.04 (p < 0.001) in patients who had one intra-articular lesion, and from 61.12 to 87.6 (p < 0.001) in patients who had more than two intra-articular lesions.
Although intra-articular lesion in patients with chronic lateral ankle instability is usually diagnosed with MRI, its sensitivity and inter-observer reliability are low. Therefore, arthroscopic examination is strongly recommended because it improved patients' residual symptoms and significantly increased patient satisfaction.
Chronic lateral ankle instability; Arthroscopy; Magnetic resonance imaging
Severe symptomatic and unstable osteochondral defects of the knee are difficult to treat. A variety of surgical techniques have been developed. However, the optimal surgical technique is still controversial. We present a novel technique in which autologous bone grafting is combined with gel-type autologous chondrocyte implantation (GACI).
Isolated severe osteochondral defects of the medial or lateral femoral condyle were treated by a two-step procedure. Firstly, chondrocytes were harvested during arthroscopy and cultured for 6 weeks. Secondly, a full thickness corticospongious autologuos bone graft, harvested from the medial or lateral femur condyle, is impacted in the defect and covered by GACI. The fibrin gel fills up to the exact shape of the chondral lesion and polymerizes within 3 min after application.
From 2009 to 2011, 9 patients, median age 35 years (range 23–47), were treated by the combined autologous bone grafting and GACI technique. Median defect size was 7.1 cm2 (range 2.5–12.0), and median depth of the lesion was 0.9 cm (range 0.8–1.2). Median follow-up was 9 months (range 6–12 months). Six patients were available for 12-month follow-up. The mean IKDC score showed a 6-month improvement from 35 (SD ± 16) to 51 (SD ± 18) (n = 9; p = 0.01), and a 1-year improvement from 35 (SD ± 16) to 57 (SD ± 20) (n = 6; p = 0.03). The mean KOOS improved from 44 (SD ± 16) to 62 (SD ± 19) (n = 9; p = 0.07) at 6-month follow-up and from 44 (SD ± 16) to 65 (SD ± 24) (n = 6; p = 0.1) at 12-month follow-up. There was one failure that needed conversion to a unicompartmental knee arthroplasty.
Combined autologous bone grafting and GACI may offer an alternative surgical option for severe and unstable osteochondral defects of the knee.
Level of evidence
Osteochondral defect; Knee; Bone graft; Fibrin gel; ACI
Articular cartilage lesions of the glenohumeral joint are an especially difficult clinical problem to manage, particularly in the younger, more active patient. Left untreated, these lesions may progress in the long-term, leading to further pain and disability. While shoulder arthroplasty remains a viable option in older patients with glenohumeral arthritis, concerns over component longevity and loosening in younger patients make it less attractive in that age group. Arthroscopic joint debridement with loose body removal, often with capsular release, has been successful in select, more sedentary patients. More recent techniques, including autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI), osteochondral grafting (allograft versus autograft), interpositional arthroplasty, and microfracture surgery, have been evaluated for use in the shoulder. These procedures have experienced success in weight bearing joints, including the knee and ankle. Despite the good clinical results in the shoulder with short-term follow-up reported in some small series, the treatment of chondral injuries in the glenohumeral joint remains a challenging problem.
Glenohumeral arthritis; Microfracture; Autogenous chondrocyte transfer; Osteochondral graft; Interpositional arthroplasty; Sports non-ACL
The purpose of this retrospective study was to assess the treatment of post-traumatic osteochondral lesions (OCLs) of the ankle with a four-step protocol.
Thirty-eight patients with at least one MRI-documented OCL of the ankle were treated from 2004 to 2010. Median age at surgery was 39 years (range: 18–52). Mean lesion size was 1.0 cm2 (SD: 0.2). All patients underwent a four-step surgical procedure including synovectomy, debridement and microfractures of the OCL, capsular shrinkage, and bracing and non-weightbearing for 21 days. Clinical assessment included objective examination, the AOFAS ankle and hindfoot scoring system, Karlsson-Peterson score, Tegner activity level, and Sefton articular stability scale. MRI scans were taken 18 months after surgery in all patients.
Follow-up examination at an average of 4 years (SD: 1.1) after surgery showed significant improvement of all variables compared to pre-operative values (P < 0.05). Most patients rated their outcome as good/excellent. MRI scans taken 18 months after surgery documented completely repaired lesion in 27 ankles, slight bone marrow oedema with partially repaired defect in 9 patients, and visible defect in 2 ankles.
Based on the present results, we propose a comprehensive four-step protocol as a safe and clinically effective treatment option in patients with post-traumatic OCLs of the ankle.
Level of evidence
Retrospective case series, Level IV.
As the understanding of interactions between articular cartilage and subchondral bone continues to evolve, increased attention is being directed at treatment options for the entire osteochondral unit, rather than focusing on the articular surface only. It is becoming apparent that without support from an intact subchondral bed, any treatment of the surface chondral lesion is likely to fail. This article reviews issues affecting the entire osteochondral unit, such as subchondral changes after marrow-stimulation techniques and meniscectomy or large osteochondral defects created by prosthetic resurfacing techniques. Also discussed are surgical techniques designed to address these issues, including the use of osteochondral allografts, autologous bone grafting, next generation cell-based implants, as well as strategies after failed subchondral repair and problems specific to the ankle joint. Lastly, since this area remains in constant evolution, the requirements for prospective studies needed to evaluate these emerging technologies will be reviewed.
Cartilage repair; Autologous chondrocyte implantation; Microfracture; Subchondral bone
The ideal treatment of osteochondral lesions is debatable. Although autologous chondrocyte implantation provides pain relief, the need for two operations and high costs has prompted a search for alternatives. Bone marrow-derived cells may represent the future in osteochondral repair. Using a device to concentrate bone marrow-derived cells and collagen powder or hyaluronic acid membrane as scaffolds for cell support and platelet gel, a one-step arthroscopic technique was developed for cartilage repair. We performed an in vitro preclinical study to verify the capability of bone marrow-derived cells to differentiate into chondrogenic and osteogenic lineages and to be supported onto scaffolds. In a prospective clinical study, we investigated the ability of this technique to repair talar osteochondral lesions in 48 patients. Minimum followup was 24 months (mean, 29 months; range, 24–35 months). Clinical results were evaluated using the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) score and the influence of scaffold type, lesion area, previous surgeries, and lesion depth was considered. MRI and histologic evaluation were performed. The AOFAS score improved from 64.4 ± 14.5 to 91.4 ± 7.7. Histologic evaluation showed regenerated tissue in various degrees of remodeling although none showed entirely hyaline cartilage. These data suggest the one-step technique is an alternative for cartilage repair, permitting improved functional scores and overcoming the drawbacks of previous techniques.
Level of Evidence: Level IV, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Articular cartilage does not contain vascular, nervous and lymphatic tissue and chondrocytes hardly participate in the healing or repair process of chondral tissue because of being surrounded by plenty of extracellular matrix. Therefore, the injury to articular cartilage frequently requires an operative treatment. The goal of surgical repair of articular cartilage is to regenerate nearly normal chondral tissue and prevent degenerative arthritis caused by the articular cartilage defect. Microfracture is a kind of cartilage repair procedure that makes a fibrin clot containing mesenchymal stem cells in the chondral lesion. Microfracture is a simple procedure but it has a disadvantage that the repaired tissue is fibrocartilage. Autologous chondrocyte implantation has an advantage that it implants fully differentiated chondrocytes to the lesion, which theoretically produces hyaline cartilage. Its disadvantages are that it is a two stage and a costly procedure. Osteochondral autograft transplantation is a one stage procedure and repairs the lesion with hyaline cartilage. But its limitation is the lack of donor site availability. Surgeons who understand the theoretical background, indications, surgical methods, rehabilitation, complications, and clinical course of cartilage repair procedures can achieve the goal of preventing degenerative arthritis.
Knee joint; Articular cartilage; Focal chondral lesion; Management
Osteochondritis dissecans of the knee is identified with increasing frequency in the young adult patient. Left untreated, osteochondritis dissecans can lead to the development of osteoarthritis at an early age, resulting in progressive pain and disability. Treatment of osteochondritis dissecans may include nonoperative or operative intervention. Surgical treatment is indicated mainly by lesion stability, physeal closure, and clinical symptoms. Reestablishing the joint surface, maximizing the osteochondral biologic environment, achieving rigid fixation, and ensuring early motion are paramount to fragment preservation. In cases where the fragment is not amenable to preservation, the treatment may include complex reconstruction procedures, such as marrow stimulation, osteochondral autograft, fresh osteochondral allograft, and autologous chondrocyte implantation. Treatment goals include pain relief, restoration of function, and the prevention of secondary osteoarthritis.
osteochondritis dissecans; knee; cartilage; surgical treatment
Surgical articular cartilage repair therapies for cartilage defects such as osteochondral autograft transfer, autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) or matrix associated autologous chondrocyte transplantation (MACT) are becoming more common. MRI has become the method of choice for non-invasive follow-up of patients after cartilage repair surgery. It should be performed with cartilage sensitive sequences, including fat-suppressed proton density-weighted T2 fast spin-echo (PD/T2-FSE) and three-dimensional gradient-echo (3D GRE) sequences, which provide good signal-to-noise and contrast-to-noise ratios. A thorough magnetic resonance (MR)-based assessment of cartilage repair tissue includes evaluations of defect filling, the surface and structure of repair tissue, the signal intensity of repair tissue and the subchondral bone status. Furthermore, in osteochondral autografts surface congruity, osseous incorporation and the donor site should be assessed. High spatial resolution is mandatory and can be achieved either by using a surface coil with a 1.5-T scanner or with a knee coil at 3 T; it is particularly important for assessing graft morphology and integration. Moreover, MR imaging facilitates assessment of complications including periosteal hypertrophy, delamination, adhesions, surface incongruence and reactive changes such as effusions and synovitis. Ongoing developments include isotropic 3D sequences, for improved morphological analysis, and in vivo biochemical imaging such as dGEMRIC, T2 mapping and diffusion-weighted imaging, which make functional analysis of cartilage possible.
MRI; Articular cartilage; Cartilage repair; Autologous osteochondral transplantation; Autologous chondrocyte implantation
We report our experience of using autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) to treat osteochondral defects of the knee in combination with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. The outcome of symptomatic osteochondral lesions treated with ACI following previous successful ACL reconstruction is also reviewed. Patients were followed for a mean of 23 months. Nine patients underwent ACL reconstruction in combination with ACI. Mean modified Cincinnati knee scores improved from 42 to 69 following surgery. Seven patients described their knee as better and two as the same. A second group of nine patients underwent ACI for symptomatic articular cartilage defects following previous ACL reconstruction. In this group, the mean modified Cincinnati knee score improved from 53 to 62 after surgery. Six patients described their knee as better and three as worse. Combined treatment using ACI with ACL reconstruction is technically feasible and resulted in sustained improvement in pain and function. The results following previous ACL reconstruction also resulted in clinical improvement, although results were not as good as following the combined procedure.
Patellofemoral chondral lesions are unique and difficult-to-treat entities often affecting a young and active patient population. Recent advances in our understanding of cartilage injuries, surgical techniques, and surgical technology have provided treatment options for symptomatic patients with lesions of the patellofemoral compartment. A number of surgical treatment options are available, including surgical microfracture, autologous or juvenile chondrocyte implantation, osteochondral autograft transfer, and osteochondral allograft implantation. Management decisions are based on a number of patient- and lesion-related factors in an effort to relieve pain, restore function, and preserve the patellofemoral articulation. The present article reviews the evaluation and management of cartilage injuries affecting the patellofemoral joint.
Patellofemoral; Chondromalacia; Osteochondral lesion; ACI; Osteochondral autograft; Osteochondral allograft
The purpose of our study is to evaluate the clinical results of anatomical reconstruction of the lateral ligaments with semitendinosus allograft.
Thirty-six patients with chronic lateral instability underwent anatomical reconstruction of the lateral ligaments of the ankle with semitendinosus allograft. The American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society Ankle-Hindfoot Scale score (AOFAS score) and the Karlsson score were used to evaluate the clinical results before and after surgery.
A total of 35 patients (97.2 %) (36 ankles) were followed up for a mean of 37.9 months. The mean AOFAS score improved from 42.3 ± 4.9 points preoperatively to 90.4 ± 6.7 postoperatively. The mean Karlsson score improved from 38.5 ± 3.2 preoperatively to 90.1 ± 7.8 postoperatively.
Anatomical reconstruction of the lateral ligaments with semitendinosus allograft achieves a satisfactory surgical outcome for chronic ankle instability.
Radiographic grading has been used to assess and select between treatment options for ankle osteoarthritis. To use radiographic grading systems in clinical practice and scientific studies one must have reliable systems that predict the fate of the cartilage.
We therefore asked whether (1) radiographic grading of ankle osteoarthritis is reliable and (2) grading reflects cartilage damage observed during arthroscopy. We then (3) determined the sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values of the radiographic findings.
Patients and Methods
We examined 74 ankles with medial osteoarthritis and 24 with normal articular cartilage based on arthroscopy. Arthroscopic findings were graded according to the modified Outerbridge grades and all radiographs were graded using the modified Kellgren-Lawrence, Takakura et al., and van Dijk et al. grading systems. The reliability of each radiographic grading system was evaluated. We correlated the radiographic grades and severity of cartilage damage for each radiographic grading system. Sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values of spurs and joint space narrowing with or without talar tilting then were determined.
The interobserver weighted kappa ranged from 0.58 to 0.89 and the intraobserver weighted kappa from 0.51 to 0.85. The correlation coefficients for the Kellgren-Lawrence, Takakura et al., and van Dijk et al. grades were 0.53, 0.42, and 0.42, respectively. Ankles with medial joint space narrowing (Stage 2 of Takakura et al. and van Dijk et al. grades) showed varying severity of cartilage damage. The positive predictive value of cartilage damage increased from 77% for medial joint space narrowing regardless of the presence of talar tilting to 98% for medial joint space narrowing with talar tilting.
Our observations suggest the inclusion of talar tilting in grading schemes enhances the assessment of cartilage damage.
Level of Evidence
Level II, diagnostic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of level of evidence.
Many surgical techniques, including microfracture, periosteal and perichondral grafts, chondrocyte transplantation, and osteochondral grafts, have been studied in an attempt to restore damaged articular cartilage. However, there is no consensus regarding the best method to repair isolated articular cartilage defects of the knee.
We compared postoperative functional outcomes, followup MRI appearance, and arthroscopic examination after microfracture (MF), osteochondral autograft transplantation (OAT), or autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI).
We prospectively investigated 30 knees with MF, 22 with OAT, and 18 with ACI. Minimum followup was 3 years (mean, 5 years; range, 3–10 years). We included only patients with isolated cartilage defects and without other knee injuries. The three procedures were compared in terms of function using the Lysholm knee evaluation scale, Tegner activity scale, and Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) score; modified Outerbridge cartilage grades using MRI; and International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) repair grade using arthroscopy.
All three procedures showed improvement in functional scores. There were no differences in functional scores and postoperative MRI grades among the groups. Arthroscopy at 1 year showed excellent or good results in 80% after MF, 82% after OAT, and 80% after ACI. Our study did not show a clear benefit of either ACI or OAT over MF.
Owing to a lack of superiority of any one treatment, we believe MF is a reasonable option as a first-line therapy given its ease and affordability relative to ACI or OAT.
Level of Evidence
Level II, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Fibrin, a homologous polymer, is the natural scaffold of wound healing and therefore a candidate as a carrier for cell transplantation. We explored a novel matrix-based implant cartilage repair composed of both fibrin and hyaluronan in a defined ratio that takes advantage of the biological and mechanical properties of these two elements. The matrix was seeded with autologous chondrocytes expanded in the presence of a proprietary growth factor variant designed to preserve their chondrogenic potential. We prospectively followed eight patients with symptomatic-chronic cartilage defects treated with this carrier. Patients had arthroscopy to harvest autologous chondrocytes then grown in autologous serum. Chondrocytes were cultured in the presence of the FGF variant and then seeded on the fibrin-hyaluronan matrix. About 4 weeks following biopsy, the patients underwent implantation of the constructs by miniarthrotomy. Three of the eight patients had transient effusion. Clinical performance was measured by Lysholm and IKDC scores, MRI, and the need for secondary surgery. The clinical outcome of a 1-year followup demonstrated increase of clinical scores. The MRI followup showed good filling of the defect with tissue having the imaging appearance of cartilage in all patients. Apart from the transient effusion in three patients we observed no other adverse events during the followup.
Level of Evidence: Level IV, therapeutic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.