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A useful combination for the treatment of patellofemoral chondral lesions: realignment procedure plus mesenchymal stem cell—retrospective analysis and clinical results at 48 months of follow-up

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Osteochondral lesions of the patellofemoral joint (OLPFJ) are defects of the cartilage surface and subchondral bone, which often require surgical treatment. Reparative treatments have shown some limitations in the long-term follow-up. The one-step bone marrow-derived cells transplantation (BMDCT) achieved good to excellent results in the treatment of osteochondral lesions of the femoral condyles. The aim of this study was to report the 48-month clinical and radiological results among 28 patients with OLPFJ treated with the one-step BMDCT technique associated with the anteromedialization tibial tuberosity (AMTT).

Materials and methods

Twenty-eight patients from 2010 to 2013 with OLPFJ underwent the BMDCT with the one-step technique associated with the AMTT. Clinical evaluation was performed at 6, 12, 18, 24, 36 and 48 months after surgery using the Kujala PF scale, the IKDC score and the Tegner activity scale. Eighteen lesions were located on patella and ten lesions on trochlea.


The preoperative Kujala score improved from 68.2 ± 4.7 to 87.2 ± 1.2 at the mean final follow-up, while the IKDC subjective score improved from 55.1 ± 6.2 to 92.13 ± 5.5. Tegner scale showed an increase from 1.7 ± 1.3 preoperatively to 5.3 ± 2.7 at the final follow-up. MRI analysis at 24-month follow-up showed an overall good filling of the lesions.

Discussion and conclusions

The one-step BMDCT associated with the AMTT permitted good clinical results durable over time with a high rate of patients’ satisfaction. These results confirm the validity of the one-step technique also in patellofemoral joint.

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Correspondence to Matteo Baldassarri.

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Buda, R., Baldassarri, M., Perazzo, L. et al. A useful combination for the treatment of patellofemoral chondral lesions: realignment procedure plus mesenchymal stem cell—retrospective analysis and clinical results at 48 months of follow-up. Eur J Orthop Surg Traumatol 29, 461–470 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00590-018-2310-z

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  • Patello-femoral
  • Knee
  • Ostechondral lesion
  • Stem cells