Short-term outcomes following dehydrated micronized allogenic cartilage versus isolated microfracture for treatment of medial talar osteochondral lesions

Sachin Allahabadi, Brianna Johnson, Malinda Whitney, David Oji, Loretta Chou, Brian C. Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Osteochondral lesions of the talus (OLTs) have been traditionally treated with bone marrow stimulation techniques such as microfracture. However, conventional microfracture results in a biomechanically weaker repair tissue of predominantly type I collagen. Acellular micronized cartilage matrix (MCM) serves as a bioactive scaffold to restore hyaline cartilage. The purpose was to compare short-term outcomes after microfracture with and without augmentation with MCM for medial-sided OLTs. Methods: A retrospective review was performed between 2010–2019 for medial-sided OLTs undergoing treatment with either microfracture augmented with MCM or isolated microfracture. The MCM was hydrated with either bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) or platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Outcomes included visual analogue scale (VAS) pain scores, Foot and Ankle Activity Measure (FAAM) scores, return-to-daily activities, and return-to-sport. Results: 48 patients (14 MCM with PRP, 6 MCM with BMAC; 28 isolated microfracture) with average age 35.5 years (range: 13.8–67.2 years) and mean follow-up 4.0 ± 3.4 years (range,.13–10.7) were included. There was no difference in average lesion size between MCM and microfracture groups (64.0 ± 49.4 mm2 versus 57.3 ± 44.2 mm2, P = .63) and a trend toward larger lesion size for BMAC compared to PRP (106.5 ± 59.2 versus 45.9 ± 32.1 mm2, P = .056). There was no difference in time to return-to-activity (83.5 ± 18.8 versus 87.3 ± 49.1 days) or return-to-sports (151.9 ± 62.2 versus 165 ± 99.2 days) with MCM versus isolated microfracture. However, the MCM group had a significantly greater improvement in VAS pain score at final follow-up (4.9 ± 2.2 versus 2.7 ± 2.6, P = .0032) and significantly higher post-operative FAAM-Activities of Daily Living subscale scores (97.2 ± 8.2 versus 79.7 ± 32.8, P = .033). Conclusions: Augmenting microfracture with MCM hydrated with PRP or BMAC may result in beneficial changes in pain scores and activities of daily living, but similar return-to-activities and return-to-sport times compared to microfracture alone in management of medial OLT. Level of evidence: IV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)642-649
Number of pages8
JournalFoot and Ankle Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Arthroscopic
  • Cartilage
  • Matrix
  • Microfracture
  • Osteochondral
  • Outcome studies
  • Return to play
  • Sports
  • Talus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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