Single-Step Arthroscopic Repair With Cell-Free Polymer-Based Scaffold in Osteochondral Lesions of the Talus: Clinical and Radiological Results

Arthroscopy. 2017 Sep;33(9):1718-1726. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2017.06.011.


Purpose: To report the clinical and radiological results of patients with talar osteochondral lesions who were treated by microfracture and cell-free scaffold implantation in a single-step arthroscopic surgery.

Methods: Forty patients, treated with a single-step arthroscopic surgery, were evaluated in this single-center-based retrospective study. Patients with degenerative arthritis (n = 1), history of ankle fracture (n = 1), kissing lesions (n = 1), lower extremity deformity (n = 1), and lesions <1.5 cm2 (n = 4) were excluded. Oversized (>10 mm depth) bone cysts were additionally treated with bone graft. Patients were evaluated clinically, using the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) hindfoot score. Radiological assessment was performed with magnetic resonance imaging, using the magnetic resonance observation of cartilage repair tissue (MOCART) score.

Results: Thirty-two patients with a mean age of 38 ± 12 years were evaluated. The mean defect size was 2.5 ± 0.8 cm2 and the mean defect volume was 2.4 ± 1.9 cm3. The mean preoperative AOFAS score was 52.8 ± 13.9 and increased to 87.1 ± 11.1 postoperatively at the mean follow-up of 33.8 ± 14.0 months (P = .0001). A total of 84.4% of patients had good to excellent clinical scores. Clinical scores had no significant relation with age, lesion size, depth, or body mass index. The mean MOCART score was 64.2 ± 12.0. There was no significant correlation between the total MOCART and AOFAS scores (P = .123). A significant relation was found between the defect filling (the subgroup of the MOCART score) and the clinical outcomes (P = .0001, rho = 0.731).

Conclusions: The arthroscopic scaffold implantation technique is a single-step, safe, and effective method for the treatment of talar osteochondral lesions with satisfactory clinical and radiological outcomes.

Level of evidence: Level IV, therapeutic case series.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arthroscopy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteochondritis / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteochondritis / surgery*
  • Polymers*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Talus / diagnostic imaging
  • Talus / surgery*
  • Tissue Scaffolds*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Polymers