Purpose: To describe the early patient-reported outcomes of articular cartilage repair in patients with pain due to grade III or IV articular cartilage defects after prior anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.
Methods: Nineteen patients underwent a gel-type autologous chondrocyte implantation (GACI) procedure after ACL reconstruction. Median timeframe between ACL reconstruction and GACI procedure was 52 months (range 16 to 369). The average age at chondrocyte implantation was 35 (standard deviation (SD) eight) years and average cumulative articular cartilage defect size was nine (SD four) square centimeter. Outcome was assessed prior to the GACI procedure and two years after GACI using the International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) score and the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS).
Results: Two year post-GACI scores showed a statistically significant improvement of IKDC (13, SD 22, p=.02) and KOOS quality of life (18, SD 27, p=.01) compared to the pre-GACI scores. The other KOOS domains did improve, but not statistically significant. Seven (37%) patients underwent reoperation after the GACI.
Conclusion: Patients with prior ACL reconstruction and suffering from ongoing pain associated with cartilage defects can benefit from cartilage repair with GACI.
Keywords: ACI; Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction; Autologous chondrocyte implantation; Cartilage lesions.
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