Combination of microfracture and periostal-flap for the treatment of focal full thickness articular cartilage lesions of the shoulder: a prospective study

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2003 May;11(3):183-9. doi: 10.1007/s00167-003-0363-x. Epub 2003 Apr 29.


Focal full-thickness articular cartilage lesions of the shoulder are less common than those of the lower extremity but are often symptomatic and may progress to degenerative osteoarthritis. This prospective study evaluated our clinical results for cartilage repair in five patients with chondral defects localized at the humeral head using a combination of microfracture and periostal flap, all by deltoidopectoral approach. Mean follow-up was 25.8 months (range 24-31) and consisted of a clinical examination, Constant score examination, radiography, and magnetic resonance imaging; three patients underwent a second-look arthroscopy an average of 8 months following cartilage repair. We found the Constant score significantly improved over the preoperative level, from 43.4% to 81.8%. Pain was reduced significantly to 18.6 points. Radiography and magnetic resonance imaging showed progression of the osteoarthritis in two patients. Second-look arthroscopy revealed a significantly reduced cartilage lesion. This is the first report of a combination of microfracture and a periostal flap for repair of focal full-thickness cartilage lesions at the shoulder. Short-term follow-up clinical results were satisfactory. It is essential to address the underlying pathology. Results must be reconfirmed in a long-term study.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cartilage, Articular / injuries
  • Cartilage, Articular / pathology
  • Cartilage, Articular / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Orthopedic Procedures / methods*
  • Osteoarthritis / classification
  • Osteoarthritis / surgery
  • Pain / surgery
  • Periosteum / transplantation*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Second-Look Surgery
  • Shoulder Injuries
  • Shoulder Joint / pathology
  • Shoulder Joint / surgery*
  • Surgical Flaps*
  • Treatment Outcome