Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy

, Volume 17, Issue 11, pp 1316–1325 | Cite as

Cartilage defects of the femoral trochlea

  • Robert A. Gallo
  • Brian T. Feeley


Despite improvements in the ability to detect articular cartilage defects of the trochlea, determining the significance of these lesions remains difficult. Physical examination and history taking remain the best way to estimate the clinical impact of these lesions. Debridement and/or microfracture are often initial surgical interventions; these procedures can be expected to provide functional improvement in over 50%, but studies suggest that the amount of improvement deteriorates within 3 years. While initial reports on ACI and osteochondral allografts in the treatment of trochlear defects appear to be more promising solutions, long-term follow-up studies are lacking. Similarly, the effect of tibial tubercle osteotomy combined with cartilage restoration techniques remains unresolved. Nonetheless, based on the limited available evidence, ACI or osteochondral allografts combined with a tibial tubercle osteotomy when appropriate have provided the most durable treatment for these difficult-to-treat lesions.


Femoral trochlea Cartilage injury 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Orthopedics and RehabilitationPennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Bone and Joint Institute, Milton S. Hershey Medical CenterHersheyUSA
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryUniversity of California at San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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