Osteochondral Allograft Transplantation in Cartilage Repair

Kappa Delta Elizabeth Winston Lanier Award Winning Research

This publication highlights research spanning over two decades that was responsible for establishing osteochondral allograft (OCA) transplantation as an effective treatment method for cartilage restoration.

Developments in research include:

  1. Helped  tissue banks develop a standard method to process and deliver viable tissue to surgeons and patients
    1. Optimum tissue culture medium is supplemented with Fetal Bovine Serum to preserve chondrocyte viability
    2. Facilitated an increased supply, now OCAs are available commercially
  2. Further understanding of in vivo changes occurring to bone and cartilage after transplantation through the use of animal models
    1. Introduced a validated MRI scoring system for OCA
    2. Identified PRG4 as a biomarker of OCA health and performance
  3. Instituted effective surgical techniques and pitfalls
    1. Articles describing technical, logistical and surgical details  to achieve reproducible results and minimize early graft failure
    2. Established clinical parameters for different locations and sizes of lesions
    3. Determined excessive impact when inserting allograft into the joint damages chondrocytes
  4. Clarified clinical indications and outcomes
    1. OCAs are useful for a wide spectrum of knee joint pathology
    2. Outcomes  show significant improvement in pain and function with high satisfaction
    3. Effective treatment option for young adolescents and in OCA revisions
    4. Acceptable primary treatment for lesions that are large ( > 10 cm2)

Take Away: OCA transplantation is a uniquely useful treatment for articular cartilage injury and disease. These studies have provided a basis for application and spurred the potential for further studies in the future.

Authors: William D. Bugbee, Andrea L. Pallante-Kichura, Simon Gortz, David Amiel and Robert Sah

Publication: Cartilage.. 2015 Apr; 6(2): 98–105.

Scripps Clinic and University of California-San Diego.

Click here to access the abstract.

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