Patients in both studies, those that had a cartilage and bone grafts and those that had a procedure that encouraged new tissue growth, recovered more knee function and experienced less pain after the procedure. Prior to these results, surgeons had no evidence apart from their own observations and experience that these commonly practiced surgeries were effective.
"The research conducted was a prospective analysis of randomly selected patients who sought treatment to repair cartilage damage. One study looked at patients who had osteochondral allograft, while the other followed-up with patients who had a microfracture procedure," said Riley Williams, MD, a co-author of the study and Director of the Hospital for Special Surgery's Institute for Cartilage Repair.
Dr. Williams added that the results of both studies will help doctors to more accurately predict outcomes for patients seeking relief from cartilage pain.
Dr. Williams presented the research at American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeon's (AAOS) annual meeting, February 23-26, 2005 in Washington, DC. The results of "The Microfracture Technique for Treatment of Articular Cartilage Lesions in the Knee: A Prospective Cohort Evaluation," were presented on Specialty Day, February 26th. "A Prospective Analysis of Knee Cartilage Defects Treated with Fresh Osteochondral Allografts," was on exhibit in a scientific poster throughout the event.
The microfracture procedure, which is more commonly used in patients with less knee damage, involves drilling small holes in the knee to induce bleeding, clotting, and thus tissue re-growth. Patients in this study were examined at a minimum of two years after their procedure to ass