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Am J Sports Med. 2013 Mar;41(3):689-95. doi: 10.1177/0363546512458218. Epub 2012 Sep 11.

Microfracture for osteochondral lesions of the talus: a systematic review of reporting of outcome data.

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  • 1Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY 1002, USA.



Microfracture is recognized as a primary treatment strategy for osteochondral lesions of the talus up to 15 mm in size. The ability of fibrocartilage to withstand the mechanical loading of the joint over time is unknown.


The purpose of this study was to systematically review studies of microfracture for OLT and descriptively analyze the outcome data reported to determine whether it is consistent from one study to another and able to be pooled for systematic review.


A systematic electronic search was performed using the MEDLINE and EMBASE databases. Studies that were published between January 1966 and June 2011 were included in the review. Only studies that reported data specifically on microfracture for treatment of osteochondral lesions of the talus and written in English were included in this review.


Twenty-four studies were included in this systematic review. The categories of general demographics and study design were generally well reported (each over 80% of studies). Patient history and patient-reported outcome data were reported less (55%-66%). Clinical variables (48%) and imaging data (39%) were the least reported in studies.


There were gross inconsistencies and an underreporting of data between studies such that pooling was deemed impossible. A concerted effort must be made by investigators to ensure that there is adequate reporting of data in studies of microfracture treatment for OLT. A set of guidelines to assist surgeons in reporting data may be useful for future research.

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