Comparison of Clinical and Radiographic Outcomes Between Central and Lateral Lesions After Osteochondral Autograft Transplantation for Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Humeral Capitellum

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Abstract

Background:

Clinical studies have reported satisfactory results after osteochondral autograft transplantation (OAT) for central lesions of unstable osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) of the elbow. However, the outcomes after OAT for lateral lesions remain unclear.

Hypothesis:

The clinical outcomes of OAT would be better for central lesions than for lateral lesions.

Study Design:

Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3.

Methods:

The authors retrospectively evaluated 103 juvenile athletes (mean age, 13.2 years; range, 11-16 years) who underwent OAT for symptomatic OCD of the humeral capitellum from 2003 to 2014. Sixteen patients were excluded because they did not fit the inclusion criteria. The final cohort of 87 patients was divided by lesion type into central lesion (n = 43) and lateral lesion (n = 44) groups. When possible, a single large plug was created for grafting and trimmed to reconstruct the rounded joint surface. The clinical, radiographic, and magnetic resonance imaging outcomes were evaluated for each group at a mean follow-up of 43 months (range, 24-100 months).

Results:

There were no significant differences in the age, sex, height, weight, duration of symptoms, follow-up time, preoperative range of motion, or Timmerman and Andrews score between the 2 groups. The preoperative osteoarthritic changes (0 of 43 for central vs 5 of 44 cases for lateral; P = .023), mean lesion size (12.2 ± 2.9 vs 18.2 ± 7.0 mm; P < .001), and graft number (1.6 vs 2.8; P < .001) were significantly greater in the lateral group versus the central group. The mean range of extension (2.3° ± 5.4° vs −3.2° ± 8.7°; P < .001) and Timmerman and Andrews score (194 vs 185; P = .006) at the final follow-up were significantly better for patients in the central group. More patients in the lateral group had postoperative radial head subluxation (0 of 43 vs 6 of 44; P = .012) and osteoarthritic changes (1 of 43 vs 9 of 44; P = .008). The mean MOCART score showed no significant differences between the groups (78.0 ± 15.7 vs 72.6 ± 20.9; P = .181). The rate of return to sports at the previous level was 100% in the central group and 86% in the lateral group (P = .012).

Conclusion:

The clinical and radiographic outcomes after OAT associated with unstable OCD of the humeral capitellum were better for central lesions than for lateral lesions. However, satisfactory outcomes and a high rate of return to sports were obtained for unstable lateral lesions after OAT.

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