The microfracture technique in the treatment of fullthickness chondral lesions of the knee

Bulent Alparslan, Ilhan Ozkan, Ulas Acar, Emre Cullu, S. Oner Savk,

Abstract

Objectives: Chondral lesions of the knee joint present a difficult challenge because of their poor potential for spontaneous healing. In this study, we evaluated the results of the microfracture technique in the treatment of full-thickness chondral lesions.\r\nMethods: The study included 20 patients (12 males, 8 females; mean age 44 years; range 18 to 60 years) who were treated with the microfracture technique for 22 lesions of osteoarthritis or traumatic chondral injuries. The patients were evaluated at the end of a mean follow-up period of 3.8 years with a visual analog scale and Lysholm II scores. Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used for statistical analysis.\r\nResults: The size of the chondral lesions varied between 0.5 to 2.25 cm2. Most of the lesions were in the medial femoral condyle (n=11), followed by the medial femoral condyle and trochlear groove (n=4), the lower aspect of the patella (n=3), trochlear groove (n=3), and the lateral femoral condyle (n=1). The mean visual analog scale score was 69.5 (range 20 to 100) preoperatively and 11 (range 0 to 60) postoperatively (p<0.001). The mean Lysholm II score increased from a preoperative 73.7 (range 49 to 90) to a postoperative 86.1 (range 51 to 100) (p=0.017).\r\nConclusion: The microfracture technique is a method that relieves the symptoms, and results in considerable improvement in the function and activity of the patients with full-thickness chondral lesions. The advantages of this arthroscopic treatment method are cost-effectiveness and low morbidity rate.

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