"The research conducted was a prospective analysis of randomly selected patients who sought treatment to repair cartilage damage. One study looked at patients who had osteochondral allograft, while the other followed-up with patients who had a microfracture procedure," said Riley Williams, MD, Director of the Hospital for Special Surgery's Institute for Cartilage Repair.
Patients in both studies, those that had a cartilage and bone grafts and those that had a procedure that encouraged new tissue growth, recovered more knee function and experienced less pain after the procedure.
The microfracture procedure, which is more commonly used in patients with less knee damage, involves drilling small holes in the knee to induce bleeding, clotting, and thus tissue re-growth. Patients in this study were examined at a minimum of two years after their procedure to assess the short and long-term outcomes of their surgery.
The research showed that, in the short-term, the procedure was more effective in patients with a lower body mass index. Also, the knees with "good fill," or tissue repair, indicated more positive outcomes. Overall, however, all patients recovered better knee function after the procedure, so the clinicians.
The second study followed patients who had osteochondral allograft for cartilage repair. Patients who had this procedure generally had significant damage to the knee cartilage. This surgery involves implanting a micrograft of bone and cartilage to repair the lesion. At a mean of thirty-two months after the procedure, patients recovered greater knee function and experienced less pain.
In both studies, results were measured by MRI to detect tissue repair and ADL (Activity of Daily Living) scores to assess knee function. The results of both studies provide scientific data that gives surgeons a tool for the first time that can predict a patient's outcome from either procedure.
MEDICA.de; Source: Hospital for Special Surgery