Cartilage repair with or without meniscal transplantation and osteotomy for lateral compartment chondral defects of the knee: Case series with minimum 2-year follow-up

Joshua D. Harris, Kristen Hussey, Bryan M. Saltzman, Frank M. McCormick, Hillary Wilson, Geoffrey D. Abrams, Brian J. Cole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background: Treatment decision making for chondral defects in the knee is multifactorial. Articular cartilage pathology, malalignment, and meniscal deficiency must all be addressed to optimize surgical outcomes. Purpose: To determine whether significant clinical improvements in validated clinical outcome scores are observed at minimum 2-year follow-up after articular cartilage repair of focal articular cartilage defects of the lateral compartment of the knee with or without concurrent distal femoral osteotomy and lateral meniscus transplant. Study Design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: Symptomatic adults who underwent surgical treatment (microfracture, autologous chondrocyte implantation [ACI], osteochondral autograft or allograft) of full-thickness lateral compartment chondral defects of the knee with or without a postmeniscectomy compartment or valgus malalignment by a single surgeon with minimum 2-year follow-up were analyzed. Validated patient-reported and surgeon-measured outcomes were collected pre- and postsurgery. Pre- and postoperative outcomes were compared via Student t tests. Results: Thirty-five subjects (mean age, 29.6 ± 10.5 years) were analyzed. Patients had been symptomatic for 2.51 ± 3.52 years prior to surgery and had undergone 2.11 ± 1.18 surgeries prior to study enrollment, with a mean duration of follow-up of 3.65 ± 1.71 years. The mean defect size was 4.42 ± 2.06 cm2. Surgeries included ACI (n = 18), osteochondral allograft (n = 14), osteochondral autograft (n = 2), and microfracture (n = 1). There were 18 subjects who underwent concomitant surgery (14 lateral meniscus transplant, 3 distal femoral osteotomy, and 1 combined). Statistically significant (P < .05) and clinically meaningful improvements were observed at final follow-up in Lysholm, subjective International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDS), Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) subscales, Short Form–12 (SF-12) scores, and patient satisfaction. At follow-up, patients undergoing isolated articular cartilage surgery had a significantly higher KOOS quality of life subscore than did those undergoing articular cartilage surgery and lateral meniscus transplant (P = .039). Otherwise, there were no significant postoperative differences between the isolated and combined surgery groups in any outcome score. Five patients underwent 6 reoperations (1 revision osteochondral allograft, 5 chondroplasties). No patient was converted to knee arthroplasty. Conclusion: In patients with lateral compartment focal chondral defects with or without lateral meniscal deficiency and valgus malalignment, surgical cartilage repair and correction of concomitant pathology can significantly improve clinical outcomes at 2-year follow-up with no significant differences between isolated and combined surgery and a low rate of complications and reoperations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2014


  • Articular cartilage repair
  • Distal femoral osteotomy
  • Knee
  • Lateral compartment
  • Meniscus transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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