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Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2014 Sep;22(9):2007-12. doi: 10.1007/s00167-013-2428-9. Epub 2013 Feb 8.

Satisfactory long-term MRI after autologous chondrocyte implantation at the knee.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Bichat Claude Bernard Hospital, Paris Diderot University, 46 rue Henri Huchard, 75877, Paris Cedex 18, France, alexandrepelissier@gmail.com.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) to address isolated condylar lesions is supposed to limit degenerative deterioration in neutrally aligned knees. Here, we report long-term results of the first-generation ACI technique with periosteal flap.

METHODS:

Twelve patients, 29 years old on average, were included on the basis of pre-operative MRI selection of lesions >2 cm2. Cartilage carrots were harvested arthroscopically, then cultured and finally re-implanted within a mean time interval of 12 weeks. Ten-year MRI results were analysed according to a semi-quantitative scale, along with functional assessment based on International Knee Documentation Committee score, Lysholm et al. score and the Tegner et al. activity scale.

RESULTS:

One patient secondarily required valgus tibial osteotomy with mosaic plasty. Another incurred graft hypertrophy that necessitated arthroscopic peeling. MRI showed that cartilage repair filled more than 50% of the initial defect in 9 patients. Standard radiographs revealed slight narrowing of the joint line. Overall, functional scores improved durably by 50%, although activity level decreased substantially.

CONCLUSION:

ACI contained degenerative changes within moderate stages while maintaining durable functional improvement. However, in the absence of controls, it was difficult to differentiate between these findings and the spontaneous evolution of non-treated lesions.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Case series, Level IV.

PMID:
23392288
DOI:
10.1007/s00167-013-2428-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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