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Orthopade. 2008 Aug;37(8):734-42. doi: 10.1007/s00132-008-1263-z.

[Autologous osteochondral transplants].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Klinik und Poliklinik f├╝r Unfallchirurgie, Universit├Ątsklinikum Giessen und Marburg, Standort Giessen, Rudolf-Buchheim-Strasse 7, 35385, Giessen.


Osteochondral transplantation is a treatment option for restoring lesions of the cartilage surface and the underlying subchondral bone. For this technique, osteochondral cylinders are taken from less loaded regions of the knee joint and brought into the defect. It is based on press-fit implantation of osteochondral cylinders that are harvested from the mediocranial or laterocranial aspect of the patellofemoral joint with subsequent stable bony integration of the transplant. Indications for osteochondral transplantation must consider clinical, radiological, and magnetic resonance aspects, and concomitant pathologies of the joint should be eliminated. Isolated grade III and IV cartilage lesions in the load-bearing area of the medial or lateral femoral condyle are considered to be ideal indications for osteochondral transplantations. Further indications are retropatellar defects and lesions of the medial aspect of the talus. The technique is established for defects from 1 cm2 to 3 cm2. At this time, osteochondral transplantation is the only surgical method to achieve long-term coverage of the defect with hyaline cartilage. Donor site morbidity at the patellofemoral joint needs to be discussed because, particularly after the harvest of several cylinders, pain syndromes can develop. Therefore, the technique should be limited to two cylinders with a maximum diameter of 12 mm and one further cylinder with a smaller diameter.

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