Matrix-induced autologous chondrocyte implantation (MACI) for chondral defects in the patellofemoral joint
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Both autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) and tibial tubercle transfer (TTT) have been used to treat chondral defects in the patellofemoral joint resulting in clinical improvement. Our study investigates the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) appearance of the matrix-induced autologous chondrocyte implantation (MACI) graft at 5-year follow-up to determine if it provides a durable treatment option in patients with an average age of 42 (standard deviation 11.6).
Twenty-three patients were available for follow-up. Nine patients required realignment of the extensor mechanism with lateral release and TTT. The MRI magnetic resonance observation of cartilage repair tissue (MOCART) scoring system was used to assess the graft status. Clinical outcomes were assessed at these time periods.
The mean weighted MOCART composite score improved from 2.87 at 3 months to 3.39 at 5 years, indicating an intact appearance in most grafts. Graft height measured >50 % of the adjacent native cartilage in 82 % of patients. Clinical improvement assessed by the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score, SF-36 (PCS) and the 6-minute walk test was demonstrated between pre-operative scores and final 5-year follow-up. 91 % of patients would undergo MACI again. Correlation between MOCART and clinical scores were low in MACI to the patellofemoral joint. No significant difference was found in outcome between those that required realignment surgery compared with those that did not.
Patellofemoral MACI provides a durable graft on MRI assessment at 5 years with resultant clinical improvement. Further work is needed to determine which defect locations may benefit most from this procedure.
Level of evidence
KeywordsAutologous chondrocyte implantation MACI ACI Patellofemoral Chondral defect
Conflict of interest
No author had conflict of interest to declare. No funding was provided for this study.
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