Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the subjective ankle function within the first year following matrix-induced bone marrow stimulation (M-BMS) of patients with a solitary osteochondral lesion of the talus (OCLT) with and without concomitant chronic ankle instability (CAI).
Methods: Data from the German Cartilage Registry (KnorpelRegister DGOU) for 78 patients with a solitary OCLT and a follow-up of at least 6 months were included. All patients received M-BMS for OCLT treatment. The cohort was subdivided into patients with OCLT without CAI treated with M-BMS alone (n = 40) and patients with OCLT and CAI treated with M-BMS and additional ankle stabilisation (n = 38). The Foot and Ankle Ability Measure (FAAM), the Foot and Ankle Outcome Score (FAOS), and the Numeric Rating Scale for Pain (NRS) were used to assess patient-reported outcomes (median (minimum-maximum)).
Results: From preoperatively to 12 months postoperatively, patients with OCLT without CAI treated with M-BMS alone had a significant improvement of all subscales in the FAAM [activity of daily living 64.3 (10-100) to 88.1 (39-100); sports 34.4 (0-100) to 65.6 (13-94), functional activities of daily life 50 (0-90) to 80 (30-100), functional sports 30 (0-100) to 70 (5-100)] and FAOS [pain 61.1 (8-94) to 86.1 (50-100), symptoms 60.7 (18-96) to 76.8 (29-100), activities of daily living 72.1 (24-100) to 91.9 (68-100), sport/recreational activities 30.0 (0-70) to 62.5 (0-95), quality of life 31.3 (6-50) to 46.9 (19-100)]. Within the first year, patients with OCLT and CAI treated with M-BMS and ankle stabilisation also showed significant improvement in the FAAM [activity of daily living 68.8 (5-99) to 90.5 (45-100); sports 32.8 (0-87.5) to 64.1 (0-94), functional activities of daily life 62.5 (25-100) to 80 (60-90), functional sports 30 (0-100) to 67.5 (0.95)] and the FAOS [pain 66.7 (28-92) to 87.5 (47-100), symptoms 57.1 (29-96) to 78.6 (50-100), activities of daily living 80.1 (25-100) to 98.5 (59-100), sport/recreational activities 35.0 (0-100) to 70.0 (0-100), quality of life 25.0 (0-75) to 50.0 (19-94)]. The pain level decreased significantly in both groups. No significant difference was found between both groups regarding the subscales of FAAM, FAOS and the NRS 1 year postoperatively.
Conclusion: Improvements in subjective ankle function, daily life activities and sports activities were observed within the first year following M-BMS. Our results suggest that preexisting and treated ankle instability did not compromise subjective outcome in patients treated with M-BMS in the first postoperative year.
Level of evidence: Level IV.
Keywords: Ankle; Ankle instability; Cartilage; Cartilage registry; Knorpelregister; Osteochondral lesion; Talus.