Focal chondral defects of the knee are common and can significantly impair quality of life. The autologous chondrocyte implantation technique has evolved over the past 20 years; the newest third-generation technique is matrix-induced autologous chondrocyte implantation. Physical examination is important to characterize location and source of pain and identify associated injuries. Imaging studies allow characterization of the lesions, identification of associated lesions, and alignment. Conservative measures should be exhausted before proceeding with surgical treatment. Steps of surgical treatment are diagnostic arthroscopy and biopsy, chondrocyte culture, and chondrocyte implantation. The techniques and their outcomes are discussed in this article.
Missouri Orthopaedic Institute, University of Missouri, Virginia Avenue, Columbia, MO, USA.
Cartilage Repair Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Chestnut Hill, MA, USA. Electronic address: AGOMOLL@BWH.HARVARD.EDU.