Optimising Femoral-Head Osteochondral Allograft Transplantation in a Preclinical Model

Purpose: To test the efficacy of using osteochondral autografts and allografts in the femoral head of canines as a translational model for humans.


  • Small autografts (6 mm diameter), small allografts (6 mm diameter) and large allografts (14 mm diameter) were implanted into the femoral head of canines
  • All grafts had >80% chondrocyte viability at implantation and showed radiographic evidence for integration into host bone
  • Small autografts and allografts had significant loss in range of motion, chondrocyte viability and articular cartilage integrity 8 weeks post-op
  • Large allografts maintained viability and structural integrity throughout the study and canines maintained full hip ROM and hind limb function
  • Based on data from canine study, four humans had a fresh OCA transplantation using a large size-matched femoral-head graft
  • Patient follow-up ranges from 4 to 18 months. All patients are full weight bearing and have no evidence of graft failure or progressive arthrosis

Take Away: Long-term follow-up is still pending but the use of a large femoral head allograft is a potential option for functional resurfacing of full-thickness cartilage defects of the femoral head.


Authors: Brett D. Crist, Aaron M. Stoker, Ferris M. Pfeiffer, Keiichi Kuroki, Cristi R. Cook, Samuel P. Franklin, James P. Stannard and James L. Cook

Published: Journal of Orthopaedic Translation. 2015 Nov 25;5:48-56.

Institution:  University of Missouri and University of Georgia

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