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Arthroscopy. 1994 Feb;10(1):69-77.

The SFA system for assessing articular cartilage lesions at arthroscopy of the knee.

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Department of Rheumatology, Hôpital Cochin, Université René Descartes, Paris, France.


We proposed to establish a system of assessing severity of chondropathy taking into account localization, size, and depth of cartilage lesions. The design of the study was prospective and multicenter. The subjects were 755 patients who had undergone arthroscopy of the knee. Criteria for assessment of severity of chondropathy were as follows: (a) Physician's overall assessment using a 100-mm-long Visual Analogue Scale, and (b) size, grade, and localization of cartilage lesions recorded on a diagram. We used multivariate parametric and nonparametric analyses. The analyses resulted in two systems of assessing severity of chondropathy: SFA scoring for the three compartments of the knee, which is a continuous variable, and SFA grading, which is a semiquantitative variable. These systems seem to be of clinical relevance. However, more studies are required to further validate them and their capacity to detect changes in severity of chondropathy.

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