Systematic Review of Patient Outcomes and Associated Predictors After Microfracture in the Patellofemoral Joint

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Background:We summarized the clinical outcomes and predictors of clinical outcomes after microfracture for chondral lesions in the patellofemoral joint (PFJ).Methods:Embase, PubMed, CENTRAL, BIOSIS, and CINAHL databases were searched between January 1, 1980, and January 1, 2019, to identify all articles that examined outcomes or predictors of outcomes of microfracture in patients with patellofemoral chondral lesions. Studies of full-thickness chondral lesions in the PFJ were included, whereas those involving adolescents, partial-thickness chondral lesions, and underlying patellar instability were excluded.Results:We found a total of 257 articles, of which 8 articles (174 patients) met our inclusion criteria. All studies found improvement in clinical outcomes after microfracture in the PFJ. Younger patients showed greater improvement in clinical outcomes than older patients. However, the effect of size, severity (grade), or location of chondral lesions on clinical outcomes after microfracture is unclear.Conclusion:We found improvement in clinical outcomes after microfracture in the PFJ at midterm follow-up. Age may be a predictor of successful outcomes and longevity of the repair; however, there is insufficient evidence regarding the influence of defect size, severity, and location on clinical outcomes.

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