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J Med Case Rep. 2012 Jun 28;6:173. doi: 10.1186/1752-1947-6-173.

Matrix-induced autologous chondrocyte implantation for a large chondral defect in a professional football player: a case report.

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1
Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Yeditepe University Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey. tbeyzade@superonline.com.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Matrix-assisted autologous chondrocyte implantation is a well-known procedure for the treatment of cartilage defects, which aims to establish a regenerative milieu and restore hyaline cartilage. However, much less is known about third-generation autologous chondrocyte implantation application in high-level athletes. We report on the two-year follow-up outcome after matrix-assisted autologous chondrocyte implantation to treat a large cartilage lesion of the lateral femoral condyle in a male Caucasian professional football player.

CASE PRESENTATION:

A 27-year-old male Caucasian professional football player was previously treated for cartilage problems of his left knee with two failed microfracture procedures resulting in a 9 cm2 Outerbridge Grade 4 chondral lesion at his lateral femoral condyle. Preoperative Tegner-Lysholm and Brittberg-Peterson scores were 64 and 58, and by the second year they were 91 and 6. An evaluation with magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated filling of the defect with the signal intensity of the repair tissue resembling healthy cartilage. Second-look arthroscopy revealed robust, smooth cartilage covering his lateral femoral condyle. He returned to his former competitive level without restrictions or complaints one year after the procedure.

CONCLUSIONS:

This case illustrates that robust cartilage tissue can be obtained with a matrix-assisted autologous chondrocyte implantation procedure even after two failed microfracture procedures in a large (9 cm2) cartilage defect. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case report on the application of the third-generation cell therapy treatment technique, matrix-assisted autologous chondrocyte implantation, in a professional football player.

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