A Comparison of the Outcomes for Cartilage Defects of the Knee Treated With Biologic Resurfacing Versus Focal Metallic Implants

Cecilia Pascual-Garrido, Erika Daley, Nikhil N. Verma, Brian J. Cole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Purpose To compare the results of focal metallic resurfacing with biologic procedures in patients more than 35 years of age with isolated, full thickness defects of the femoral condyle. Methods A total of 61 patients met the selection criteria resulting in 30 patients treated with biological procedures, including debridement, microfracture, osteochondral autograft transplantation, osteochondral allograft, and autologous chondrocyte implantation (BIO group), and 32 patients treated with focal metallic resurfacing (CAP group). The BIO and CAP groups were matched according to treatment location, defect grade and size, and age profile. Outcomes included Western Ontario and McMaster Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), Short Form-12, and satisfaction. The primary combination endpoint was determined as a 20% improvement (minimum clinically important difference-20) on WOMAC pain and function at 2 years and no additional index lesion-related surgical intervention. Safety and effectiveness were also reported. Results Thirty patients in the BIO group (mean age of 44.6, range 35-64) had an average follow-up of 2.6 years and 32 patients in the CAP group (mean age 47.9, range 37-68) were followed for 2.0 years. Fifty-three percent in the BIO group and 75% in the CAP group achieved success per the endpoint definition. The mean total WOMAC score improved significantly for both groups (BIO: 57-78; P < .001) (CAP: 41-86; P < .001). The physical component score (Short Form-12 PCS) improved significantly in the CAP group only (30-36.4; P < .001). Good to excellent patient satisfaction was achieved by 80% in BIO and 91% in CAP. There were 4 secondary procedures on the index lesion in the BIO group and 2 in the CAP group. Conclusions Careful patient selection can achieve high satisfaction rates with both biological and focal metal resurfacing procedures for the treatment of isolated focal chondral lesions of the femoral condyle in the knee. Focal metallic resurfacing results in similar clinical outcomes and provides excellent success rates at short-term follow-up. Level of Evidence Level III comparative study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-373
Number of pages10
JournalArthroscopy - Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


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