Multiple osteochondral arthroscopic grafting (mosaicplasty) for cartilage defects of the knee: Prospective study results at 2-year follow-up

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Purpose: To prospectively evaluate the mosaicplasty technique for treatment of femoral condyle cartilage lesions (Outerbridge grade IV) less than 2.5 cm2 in homogeneous group of young active patients. Type of study: Case series. Methods: Thirty-seven patients (10 female, 27 male; mean age, 29.5 years) with full-thickness knee chondral lesions were treated by the arthroscopic mosaicplasty technique. All patients practiced sports. There were 12 ACL reconstructions, 11 medial meniscectomies, and 8 lateral meniscectomies associated; 10 meniscectomies, 9 ACL reconstructions, and 5 cartilage reparative operations had been previously performed. All patients were evaluated at a 2-year follow-up. The International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) form, return to sports, computed tomography, or magnetic resonance imaging were used for clinical evaluation. In some cases, second-look arthroscopy was performed. Results: The ICRS showed 78.3% good and excellent results; 27 patients returned to sports at the same level and 5 at a lower level, but 5 were not able to resume sports. Results in the lateral condyles were significantly better than those in medial condyles, and younger patients had a better clinical outcome than did older patients. Cases with associated surgery had better clinical results; previous surgery did not significantly influence the clinical outcome. Conclusions: The results of this technique at medium-term follow-up are encouraging with 78.3% clinically satisfactory results. Better results can be obtained in young patients with associated surgery, with localized grade 4 lesions of the lateral condyles. This arthroscopic 1-step surgery appears to be a valid solution for the treatment of grade III-IV cartilage defects not more than 2.5 cm2. Level of evidence: Level IV, Case Series.


  • Cartilage repair
  • Knee
  • Osteochondral grafting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery


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