Articular Cartilage Lesion Characteristic Reporting Is Highly Variable in Clinical Outcomes Studies of the Knee CARTILAGE Jones, K. J., Sheppard, W. L., Arshi, A., Hinckel, B. B., Sherman, S. L. 2019; 10 (3): 299–304


The purpose of this study was to investigate the degree of standardized evaluation and reporting of cartilage lesion characteristics in high-impact clinical studies for symptomatic lesions of the knee. We hypothesized that there are significant inconsistencies in reporting these metrics across orthopedic literature.A total of 113 clinical studies on articular cartilage restoration of the knee were identified from 6 high-impact orthopedic journals between 2011 and 2016. Full-text review was used to evaluate sources for details on study methodology and reporting on the following variables: primary procedure, location, size, grade, and morphology of cartilage lesions.All studies reported on the type of primary cartilage procedure and precise lesion location(s). Approximately 99.1% reported lesion morphology (chondral, osteochondral, mixed). For lesion size, 32.7% of articles did not report how size was measured and 11.5% did not report units. The lesion sizing method was variable, as 27.4% used preoperative magnetic resonance imaging to measure/report lesion size, 31.0% used arthroscopy, and 8.8% used both. The majority of studies (83.2%) used area to report size, and 5.3% used diameter. Formal grading was not reported in 17.7% of studies. Only 54.8% of studies reported depth when sizing osteochondral defects.Recent literature on cartilage restoration provides adequate information on surgical technique, lesion location, and morphology. However, there is wide variation and incomplete reporting on lesion size, depth, and grading. Future clinical studies should include these important data in a consistent manner to facilitate comparison among surgical techniques.

View details for DOI 10.1177/1947603518756464

View details for Web of Science ID 000472034600004

View details for PubMedID 29405742

View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6585291