Autologous chondrocyte implantation combined with anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: similar short-term results in comparison with isolated cartilage repair in ligament intact joints

Julian Mehl, Matthias Feucht, Andrea Achtnich, Andreas B. Imhoff, Philipp Niemeyer, Peter Angele, Wolfgang Zinser, Gunter Spahn, Ingo Loer, Heino Kniffler, Gunnar Schauf, Andreas Schmitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Both acute ruptures of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) as well as chronic ACL insufficiency show a high association with focal cartilage defects of the knee. However, the results after combined ACL reconstruction and cartilage repair are not well investigated. The aim of the present study was to investigate the short-term outcomes after autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) in combination with ACL reconstruction and to compare the results with patients who underwent isolated ACI in ligament intact knees. Methods: All patients who were registered in the German Cartilage Registry with ACI for focal cartilage defects in the knee joint in combination with ACL reconstruction and who completed the 24 month follow-up were included in the study group. A matched-pair procedure according to gender, defect location, defect size, and age was used to create a control group of patients with isolated ACI in ACL intact joints. The Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) and the numeric analog scale for pain (NAS) were used to assess the preoperative state as well as the clinical outcomes 12 and 24 months after surgery. Results: A total of 34 patients were included in both the study group (age mean 33.3 ± SD 8.8 years) and the control group (33.6 ± 8.4 years) with a median defect size of 466 (25%-75% IQR 375–600) mm2 and 425 (IQR 375–600) mm2, respectively. In comparison with the preoperative state (median 67, IQR 52–75), the study group showed a significant increase of the total KOOS after 12 months (78, IQR 70–86; p = 0.014) and after 24 months (81, IQR 70–84; p = 0.001). The NAS for pain did not change significantly in the postoperative course. In comparison with the control group there was no significant difference for the total KOOS neither preoperative (control group median 67, IQR 52–73) nor at any postoperative time point (12 months: 82, IQR 67–93; 24 months: 81, IQR 71–91). Conclusion: The clinical short-term outcomes after ACI at the knee joint in combination with ACL reconstruction are good and similar to the results after isolated ACI in ligament intact knees. Level of evidence: III.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3249-3257
Number of pages9
JournalKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Volume30
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ACL
  • Autologous chondrocyte implantation
  • Cartilage repair
  • Knee
  • Ligament

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