Background: The successful treatment of chondral and osteochondral defects of the weight-bearing surfaces is a challenge for orthopaedic surgeons. Autologous osteochondral transplantation is one method that can be used to create hyaline or hyaline-like repair in the defect area. This paper describes the results after ten years of clinical experience with autologous osteochondral mosaicplasty.
Methods: Clinical scores, imaging techniques, arthroscopy, histological examination of biopsy samples, and cartilage stiffness measurements were used to evaluate the clinical outcomes and quality of the transplanted cartilage in 831 patients undergoing mosaicplasty.
Results: According to these investigations, good-to-excellent results were achieved in 92% of the patients treated with femoral condylar implantations, 87% of those treated with tibial resurfacing, 79% of those treated with patellar and/or trochlear mosaicplasties, and 94% of those treated with talar procedures. Long-term donor-site disturbances, assessed with use of the Bandi score, showed that patients had 3% morbidity after mosaicplasty. Sixty-nine of eighty-three patients who were followed arthroscopically showed congruent gliding surfaces, histological evidence of the survival of the transplanted hyaline cartilage, and fibrocartilage filling of the donor sites. Complications of the surgery included four deep infections and thirty-six painful postoperative hemarthroses.
Conclusions: On the basis of these promising results and those of other similar studies, autologous osteochondral mosaicplasty appears to be an alternative for the treatment of small and medium-sized focal chondral and osteochondral defects of the weight-bearing surfaces of the knee and other weight-bearing synovial joints.