Fresh osteochondral allograft transplantation is an appealing option to address a failed cartilage repair surgical procedure, given the ability to treat large lesions and to address the subchondral osseous changes commonly seen in the revision setting. We hypothesized that osteochondral allograft transplantation after failed cartilage repair would result in low failure rates and improved function and that improved graft incorporation on postoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) would correlate with a superior clinical outcome.A retrospective review of prospectively collected data was used to identify 43 patients treated with fresh osteochondral allograft transplantation after a previous cartilage repair surgical procedure and having a minimum follow-up of 2 years. Clinical outcomes were evaluated using the Short Form-36 (SF-36) score, International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) Subjective Knee Score, Marx Activity Scale, Knee Outcome Survey-Activities of Daily Living (KOS-ADL) Questionnaire, Cincinnati Sports Activity Score, and Cincinnati Overall Symptom Assessment. Postoperative MRI scans were obtained at a mean time of 19.7 months and were independently reviewed by a musculoskeletal radiologist using the Osteochondral Allograft MRI Scoring System (OCAMRISS).At a mean 3.5-year follow-up after osteochondral allograft transplantation, significant improvements (p < 0.05) in SF-36 Physical Function, SF-36 Pain, KOS-ADL, IKDC Subjective Knee Score, and Cincinnati Overall Symptom Assessment were seen. Over 90% of grafts remained in situ at the time of the latest follow-up, although 17 knees (40%) underwent reoperation, the majority for arthroscopic debridement or manipulation for stiffness. Body mass index (BMI) of >30 kg/m was associated with worse clinical outcomes. The mean total OCAMRISS score demonstrated poorer allograft integration in patients with graft failure, but the total score did not meaningfully correlate with clinical outcome scores. However, better individual articular cartilage appearance and osseous integration subscores were associated with better clinical outcome scores.Significant improvements in pain and function were seen following fresh osteochondral allograft transplantation after failed cartilage repair, with an overall graft survival rate of >90%. Patients with greater bone and cartilage incorporation on MRI had superior clinical outcomes, although persistent osseous edema was frequently seen. We concluded that osteochondral allograft transplantation is an effective salvage treatment after failed cartilage repair and recommend further evaluation of techniques to optimize graft integration.Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
View details for DOI 10.2106/JBJS.17.01418
View details for Web of Science ID 000452184200011
View details for PubMedID 30480599