Prospective Outcomes of Cryopreserved Osteochondral Allograft for Patellofemoral Cartilage Defects at Minimum 2-Year Follow-up


To analyze the clinical outcomes, knee function, and activity level of patients after treatment of full-thickness cartilage defects involving the patellofemoral compartment of the knee with cryopreserved osteochondral allograft.


Nineteen patients with cartilage defects involving the patellofemoral compartment were treated. The average age was 31 years (range 15-45 years), including 12 females and 7 males. Patients were prospectively followed using validated clinical outcome measures including Veterans RAND 12-item Health Survey (VR-12), International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC), Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS), and the Tegner activity scale. Graft incorporation was evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or second-look arthroscopy.


The cartilage defects included the patella (n = 16) and the femoral trochlea (n = 3). Mean VR-12 scores increased from 31.6 to 46.3 (P < 0.01), mean IKDC increased from 40.0 to 69.7 (P < 0.01), mean KOOS increased from 53.9 to 80.2 (P < 0.01), and mean Tegner scores increased from 3.0 to 4.9 (P < 0.01), at average follow-up of 41.9 months (range 24-62 months). Of the 3 patients who underwent second-look arthroscopy, all demonstrated a well-incorporated graft. Mean MOCART score for the 6 patients with follow-up MRI was 62.5 (range 25-85). The reoperation rate was 21.1% and 2 patients (12.5%) experienced progressive patellofemoral osteoarthritis requiring conversion to patellofemoral arthroplasty.


Patients with unipolar cartilage defects involving the patellofemoral compartment of the knee can have positive outcomes at minimum 2-year follow-up after surgical treatment with a cryopreserved osteochondral allograft when concomitant pathology is also addressed, but the reoperation rate is high and bipolar cartilage lesions may increase the failure rate.