Articular cartilage treatment in high-level male soccer players: a prospective comparative study of arthroscopic second-generation autologous chondrocyte implantation versus microfracture.
ABSTRACT Soccer is a highly demanding sport for the knee joint, and chondral injuries can cause disabling symptoms that may jeopardize an athlete's career. Articular cartilage lesions are difficult to treat, and the increased mechanical stress produced by this sport makes their management even more complex.
To evaluate whether the regenerative cell-based approach allows these highly demanding athletes a better functional recovery compared with the bone marrow stimulation approach.
Cohort study; Level of evidence, 2.
Forty-one professional or semiprofessional male soccer players were treated from 2000 to 2006 and evaluated prospectively at 2 years and at a final 7.5-year mean follow-up (minimum, 4 years). Twenty-one patients were treated with arthroscopic second-generation autologous chondrocyte implantation (Hyalograft C) and 20 with the microfracture technique. The clinical outcome of all patients was analyzed using the cartilage standard International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) evaluation package. The sport activity level was evaluated with the Tegner score, and the recovery time was also recorded.
A significant improvement in all clinical scores from preoperative to final follow-up was found in both groups. The percentage of patients who returned to competition was similar: 80% in the microfracture group and 86% in the Hyalograft C group. Patients treated with microfracture needed a median of 8 months before playing their first official soccer game, whereas the Hyalograft C group required a median time of 12.5 months (P = .009). The International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) subjective score showed similar results at 2 years' follow-up but significantly better results in the Hyalograft C group at the final evaluation (P = .005). In fact, in the microfracture group, results decreased over time (from 86.8 ± 9.7 to 79.0 ± 11.6, P < .0005), whereas the Hyalograft C group presented a more durable outcome with stable results (90.5 ± 12.8 at 2 years and 91.0 ± 13.9 at the final follow-up).
Despite similar success in returning to competitive sport, microfracture allows a faster recovery but present a clinical deterioration over time, whereas arthroscopic second-generation autologous chondrocyte implantation delays the return of high-level male soccer players to competition but can offer more durable clinical results.
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ABSTRACT: Matrix-assisted autologous chondrocyte transplantation (MACT) has been developed and applied in the clinical practice in the last decade to overcome most of the disadvantages of the first generation procedures. The purpose of this systematic review is to document and analyse the available literature on the results of MACT in the treatment of chondral and osteochondral lesions of the knee. ALL STUDIES PUBLISHED IN ENGLISH ADDRESSING MACT PROCEDURES WERE IDENTIFIED, INCLUDING THOSE THAT FULFILLED THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA: 1) level I-IV evidence, 2) measures of functional or clinical outcome, 3) outcome related to cartilage lesions of the knee cartilage. The literature analysis showed a progressively increasing number of articles per year. A total of 51 articles were selected: three randomised studies, ten comparative studies, 33 case series and five case reports. Several scaffolds have been developed and studied, with good results reported at short to medium follow-up. MACT procedures are a therapeutic option for the treatment of chondral lesions that can offer a positive outcome over time for specific patient categories, but high-level studies are lacking. Systematic long-term evaluation of these techniques and randomised controlled trials are necessary to confirm the potential of this treatment approach, especially when comparing against less ambitious traditional treatments.Bone & joint research. 02/2013; 2(2):18-25.
Article: What's New in Orthopedic Research?The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 12/2012; 94(24):2289-95. · 3.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objective: The purpose of this systematic review was to compare activity-based outcomes after microfracture, autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI), and osteochondral autograft (OAT). Design: Multiple databases were searched with specific inclusion and exclusion criteria for level III and higher studies with activity outcomes after microfracture, OAT, osteochondral allograft, and ACI. Activity-based outcomes included the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS), the Tegner Score, the Cincinnati Knee scores, the International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) subjective knee score, the Marx activity score, and/or the rate of return-to-sport. Results: Twenty studies were included (1,375 patients). Although results were heterogeneous, significant advantages were seen for ACI and OAT as compared with microfracture in Tegner scores at 1 year (ACI vs. microfracture, P = 0.0016), IKDC scores at 2 years (ACI vs microfracture, P = 0.046), Lysholm scores at 1 year (OAT vs microfracture, P = 0.032), and Marx scores at 2 years (OAT vs microfracture, P < 0.001). The only score or time point to favor microfracture was Lysholm score at 1 year (ACI vs microfracture, P = 0.037). No other standardized outcome measures or time points were significantly different. Several studies demonstrated significantly earlier return to competition with microfracture. Overall reoperation rates were similar, but of reoperations, a higher proportion of those following ACI were unplanned with the majority of performed for graft delamination or hypertrophy. Conclusions: ACI and OAT may have some benefits over microfracture, although return-to-sport is fastest following microfracture. Heterogeneity in technique, outcome measures, and patient populations hampers systematic comparison within the current literature.Cartilage 07/2013; 4(3):193-203.