The initial focus of cartilage restoration algorithms has been on the femur; however, the patellofemoral compartment accounts for 20% to 30% of significant symptomatic chondral pathologies. While patellofemoral compartment treatment involves a completely unique subset of comorbidities, with a comprehensive and thoughtful approach many patients may benefit from osteochondral allograft treatment.
To perform a systematic review of clinical outcomes and failure rates after osteochondral allograft transplantation (OCA) of the patellofemoral joint at a minimum 18-month follow-up.
Systematic review; Level of evidence, 4.
A systematic review of the literature regarding the existing evidence for clinical outcomes and failure rates of OCA for patellofemoral joint chondral defects was performed with the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PubMed, and MEDLINE from studies published between 1990 and 2017. Inclusion criteria were as follows: clinical outcomes and failure rates of OCA for the treatment of chondral defects in the patellofemoral joint, English language, minimum follow-up of 18 months, minimum study size of 5 patients, and human studies. The methodological quality of each study was assessed with a modified version of the Coleman methodology score.
The systematic search identified 8 studies with a total of 129 patients. The methods of graft procurement and storage time included fresh (121 patients, 93.8%), and cryopreserved (8 patients, 6.2%) grafts. The mean survival rate was 87.9% at 5 years and 77.2% at 10 years. The following outcome scores showed significant improvement from pre- to postoperative status: modified d’Aubigné-Postel, International Knee Documentation Committee, Knee Society Score-Function, and Lysholm Knee Score.
OCA of the patellofemoral joint results in improved patient-reported outcome measures with high patient satisfaction rates. Five- and 10-year survival rates of 87.9% and 77.2%, respectively, can be expected after this procedure. These findings should be taken with caution, as a high percentage of patellofemoral osteochondral allografts were associated with concomitant procedures; therefore, further research is warranted to determine the effect of isolated osteochondral transplantations.