Treatment of articular cartilage defects of the knee with autologous chondrocyte implantation.J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 1998; 28(4):241-51JO
The treatment of focal full thickness articular defects in the knee has continued to present a challenge, with no traditional treatment method providing consistent acceptable long-term clinical results. Patients with significant chondral defects frequently have persistent joint line pain, swelling, and catching in the knee. In contrast to marrow stimulation treatment techniques, such as abrasion arthroplasty, drilling, or microfracture which populate the defect with pluripotential stem cells, the use of cultured autologous chondrocytes fills the defect with cells of a committed pathway to develop hyaline-like cartilage. This hyaline-like cartilage more closely recreates the wear characteristics and durability of normal hyaline cartilage than the fibrous or fibrocartilage repair tissue formed by pluripotential stem cells. The purpose of this paper is to review the efficacy of available treatment options as well as the basic science rationale, indications, technique, postoperative rehabilitation, and clinical results of using cultured autologous chondrocytes in the treatment of focal full thickness chondral defects of the knee.