Unicondylar Osteoarticular Allografts of the Knee

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BackgroundIn the management of a resected distal femoral or proximal tibial condyle as the result of tumor or trauma, a unicondylar osteoarticular allograft is currently the only reconstructive option that avoids the sacrifice of the unaffected condyle. The purposes of this study were to perform a survival analysis of unicondylar osteoarticular allografts of the knee and to evaluate the complications.MethodsWe retrospectively reviewed the results of forty large unicondylar osteoarticular allograft procedures in thirty-eight patients who were followed for a mean of eleven years. Twenty-nine allografts were femoral transplants and included eleven medial and eighteen lateral femoral condyles. Eleven allografts were tibial transplants, including four medial and seven lateral tibial condyles. The procedure was performed after a tumor resection in thirty-six patients and to replace condylar loss after a severe open fracture in the remaining two patients. Complications were analyzed, and allograft survival from the date of implantation to the date of revision or the time of the latest follow-up was determined. Functional and radiographic results were documented according to the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society scoring system at the time of the latest follow-up.ResultsOne patient died of tumor-related causes without allograft failure before the two-year follow-up evaluation. The global rate of allograft survival at both five and ten years was 85%, with a mean follow-up of 148 months. In six patients, the allografts were removed at an average of twenty-six months (range, six to forty-eight months) and these were considered failures. All six patients underwent a second allograft procedure including two new unicondylar and four bicondylar reconstructions. The mean radiographic score for the thirty-three surviving allografts evaluated was 89%, with an average functional score of 27 of a possible 30 points.ConclusionsUnicondylar osteoarticular allografts of the knee appear to be a reliable alternative for patients in whom reconstruction of massive osteoarticular bone loss is limited to one condyle of the femur or the tibia.Level of EvidenceTherapeutic Level IV. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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