Osteochondral Autograft Transplantation: A Review of the Surgical Technique and Outcomes

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Isolated chondral and osteochondral defects of the knee are challenging clinical entities, particularly in younger patients. Cartilage treatment strategies have previously been characterized as palliation (ie, chondroplasty and debridement), repair (ie, drilling and microfracture), or restoration (ie, autologous chondrocyte implantation, osteochondral autograft, and osteochondral allograft). The osteochondral autograft transplantation procedure allows defects to be filled immediately with mature, hyaline articular cartilage by utilizing either an arthroscopic or a mini-open procedure. Graft harvest and placement can be technically demanding, but results show trends toward greater longevity, durability, and improved outcomes in high-demand patients when compared with alternative techniques. Improved results are shown in younger patients with isolated lesions between 1 and 4 cm2.

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