Abstract

Fresh osteochondral allografts were used to repair articular defects in the distal femur in 72 patients. Sixty patients were available for long-term followup (mean, 10 years) to determine graft survivorship and patient outcomes using a modified Hospital for Special Surgery score. Twelve of 60 grafts have failed with three having graft removal alone and nine being converted to total knee replacement. Kaplan-Meier survivorship analysis showed 85% graft survival at 10 years and 74% survival at 15 years. Patients with surviving grafts had good function, with a mean Hospital for Special Surgery score of 83 points at 10 years followup. Ten patients (17%) required meniscal transplantation whereas 41 (68%) required realignment osteotomy done simultaneously with the osteochondral allograft. Patients requiring meniscal transplantation, limb realignment, or both, had equally good outcomes at 10 years as those who underwent osteochondral transplantation alone. Likewise, transplantation to the medial or the lateral condyle had no bearing on long-term outcomes. Radiographs were available for 38 patients. These radiographs showed that 18 (48%) patients had no or mild arthritis, 10 (26%) had moderate, and 10 (26%) had severe arthritis. Late osteoarthritic degeneration as seen on radiographs was associated with outcomes, with patients with more severe arthritis having lower Hospital for Special Surgery scores. The authors think that osteochondral allograft transplantation is a valuable treatment option in patients with large osteochondral defects in the distal femoral articular surface.

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