Subchondroplasty® Knee RCT

Trial ID or NCT#



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This is a multi-center, prospective, single-blinded, two-arm study, randomized to include approximately 134 subjects treated with Subchondroplasty (SCP) + Arthroscopy and 67 subjects with arthroscopy alone. The primary objective of this study is to demonstrate superiority of Subchondroplasty with arthroscopy compared to arthroscopy alone for treatment of Bone Marrow Lesions (BMLs) in the knee.

Official Title

A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Subchondroplasty® Procedure With Arthroscopy Versus Arthroscopy Alone for Treatment of Bone Marrow Lesions in the Knee

Eligibility Criteria

Ages Eligible for Study: 30 Years to 75 Years
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers: No
Inclusion Criteria:
  1. - Candidates must meet ALL of the following: 1. Voluntary signature of the Institutional Review Board/Research Ethics Board approved Informed Consent, 2. Male or female subjects between the ages of 30 to 75 years, 3. Body Mass Index ≤ 40 (BMI=kg/m2), 4. Has experienced pain in study knee for at least 3 months, 5. Kellgren-Lawrence grade 1-3 Osteoarthritis, as reviewed on preoperative XR imaging, in the study knee, 6. BML is confirmed on T2 weighted or Proton Density MR Imaging by presence of white signal, 7. Single BML of tibia, single BML of femur, or adjoining BML's of tibia & femur, in the same compartment, extending to the articular surface of the joint, 8. Surgical candidate for knee arthroscopy due to mechanical symptoms, meniscus tear, loose body and/or synovitis, 9. Must record a response, at the preoperative study visit, of moderate to extreme pain for any one of the KOOS Pain Scale questions, P2 through P9, 10. Index knee alignment is defined radiographically as one of the following: Neutral, ≤ 6° mechanical varus, or ≤ 6° mechanical valgus, 11. Ligaments in the study knee are stable, 12. The contralateral (non-study) knee is stable and functional, 13. Is refractory to conservative non-surgical management 1. having failed 2 or more of the following: hyaluronic acid injection, corticosteroid injection, NSAIDs, physical therapy, bracing, activity modification, or minimal surgical intervention (e.g., arthroscopy, debridement/chondroplasty, and/or loose body removal) 2. and is ≥ 3 months from the start of treatment, 14. Must be physically and mentally willing and able, in the Investigator's opinion at the time of enrollment, to be compliant with the protocol - including all follow-up visits, survey completion, weight-bearing restrictions, and post-operative rehabilitation.
Exclusion Criteria:
  1. - Candidates will be excluded if they meet ANY of the following: 1. BML caused by acute trauma less than 3 months prior to enrollment, 2. Clinical and/or radiographic disease diagnosis of the index knee that includes any of the following: 1. Kellgren-Lawrence Grade 4 Osteoarthritis with complete loss of joint space (bone-on-bone) or subchondral bone collapse, 2. Rheumatoid arthritis, or history of septic or reactive arthritis, 3. Gout or a history of gout or pseudogout in the affected knee, 4. Has more than two clinically relevant BMLs in the index knee, 5. Osteochondritis dissecans of the knee with significant bone loss, 6. Collapse of subchondral bone, 7. Clinically relevant BML located at ACL/PCL insertion, 8. MRI evidence of frank ligament instability, 3. Passive knee flexion < 110° or flexion contracture >30°, 4. History of systemic diseases which could contribute to secondary arthropathies (e.g., sickle cell disease, hemochromatosis, or autoimmune disease), 5. Has a neuromuscular, neurosensory, or musculoskeletal deficiency that limits the ability to perform objective functional assessment of either knee, 6. If diabetic, blood glucose over 200 mg/dL at time of enrollment, 7. Current daily tobacco or high nicotine product user or < 3 months from nicotine cessation, 8. Presents a high surgical risk due to unstable cardiac and/or pulmonary disease, 9. Has HIV or other immunodeficient state including subjects on immunosuppressant therapies, or has significant illness (metastasis of any type) that decreases the probability of survival to the 2 year endpoint, 10. Is at substantial risk for the need of organ transplantation, such as renal insufficiency, 11. Is pregnant or breast-feeding at the time of surgery, 12. Has a history of any invasive malignancy (except non-melanoma skin cancer), unless treated with curative intent and with no clinical signs or symptoms of the malignancy for 5 years, 13. Has primary bone tumor in the knee area, 14. Anticipates having a lower extremity surgery other than the investigational surgery during the course of the study, 15. Is participating concurrently in another clinical trial, or has participated in a clinical trial within 30 days of surgery, 16. Is receiving prescription pain medication other than NSAIDs or acetaminophen for conditions unrelated to the index knee condition, chronic use of anticoagulants, or taking corticosteroids, 17. Active joint infection or history of chronic joint infection at the surgical site, 18. Prior total meniscectomy of index knee, 19. Has primarily patellofemoral symptoms, 20. Is indicated for concomitant procedures (i.e., microfracture, subchondral drilling, cartilage allograft, ligament or tendon repair, distal realignment/osteotomy, root repair) in the index knee, with the exception of incidental loose body removal, debridement, synovectomy, osteophyte removal in locations other than adjacent to BMLs, and/or partial meniscectomy, 21. Has contraindications for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), 22. Is receiving worker's compensation or is currently involved in litigation relating to the index knee, 23. Has a history of substance abuse.


Seth Lawrence Sherman, MD
Seth Lawrence Sherman, MD
Sports medicine surgeon, Shoulder surgeon, Orthopaedic surgeon
Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

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Michelle Backer