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Clinical Outcomes of Multifocal Osteochondral Allograft Transplantation of the Knee: An Analysis of Overlapping Grafts and Multifocal Lesions

Research Square

Research Square

  • First Author :
    Show less Eric J. Cotter
  • Co-authors :
    Charles P. Hannon, David R. Christian, Kevin C. Wang ,Drew A. Lansdown, Brian R. Waterman, Rachel M. Frank, Brian J. Cole
  • Journal Name :
    SAGE journals
  • Read Full text :
  • DOI :

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Background: There is a paucity of literature regarding the outcomes of adjacent-plug osteochondral allograft transplantation (OCA) for irregular or ovoid lesions and multifocal OCA for multicompartmental, focal lesions. Purpose: To quantify the survival of multiplug OCA for larger, high-grade chondral lesions with the “snowman” technique versus that of multicompartmental or bipolar OCA. Study Design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: All patients who underwent primary, multiplug OCA for large unicondylar, multicompartmental (eg, bipolar patellofemoral and condylar, bicondylar), or bipolar chondral defects (ie, patellofemoral) with a minimum 2-year follow-up by a single surgeon from April 1, 2003, to April 1, 2015, were analyzed. Failure was defined as revision OCA, conversion to arthroplasty, or gross appearance of graft degeneration on second-look arthroscopic surgery. Results: Twenty-six patients (28 knees) were identified, with 22 patients (24 knees; 50% female; mean age, 31.9 ± 9.1 years) having at least 2-year clinical follow-up (85.7%). Nine patients (9 knees) underwent isolated, condylar OCA with the snowman technique and had a mean follow-up of 7.4 ± 3.6 years (range, 1.38-11.14 years), while 13 additional patients (15 knees) underwent multifocal OCA and had a mean follow-up of 6.4 ± 3.9 years (range, 2.07-12.38 years). Reoperations were common, with 44.4% (n = 4) of the snowman group and 20.0% (n = 3) of the multifocal group undergoing at least 1 reoperation. There were 3 failures (33.3%) in the snowman group at a mean 7.7 ± 5.5 years and 1 failure (6.7%) in the multifocal group at 4.5 ± 0.0 years, with all undergoing secondary total knee arthroplasty. Patients who underwent snowman OCA demonstrated significant postoperative improvement in the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) pain subscore and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) overall score (P < .05 for both). Patients who underwent multifocal OCA demonstrated significant improvement in the International Knee Documentation Committee score; KOOS symptoms, activities of daily living, sport, and quality of life subscores; WOMAC stiffness, function, and overall subscores; and 12-Item Short Form Health Survey physical component summary score (P < .05 for all). Conclusion: Patients who underwent unicondylar, multiplug OCA using the snowman technique demonstrated inferior clinical outcomes, higher reoperation rates, and greater failure rates than those who underwent isolated single-graft transplantation. By contrast, multifocal OCA may be a viable knee preservation technique for young, active patients with multicompartmental chondral disease, leading to improved clinical outcomes and low reoperation and failure rates at midterm follow-up.

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