Chondrocyte Viability 3.5 Years Following a Vascularized Medial Femoral Trochlea Osteocartilaginous Free Flap

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A 30-year-old woman underwent arthroscopy for wrist pain 3.5 years following a medial femoral trochlea (MFT) osteocartilaginous free flap for Kienböck disease, which provided the opportunity to examine the transferred cartilage in vivo. Arthroscopy revealed no evidence of chondrolysis, and histologic examination revealed uniformly viable chondrocytes within a matrix consistent with fibrocartilage.


To the best of our knowledge, the long-term viability of chondrocytes following an MFT free flap has not been previously documented. This case provides early evidence that free tissue transfer based on the descending genicular artery can provide a durable solution for osteocartilaginous defects.

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