Return to sporting activity after osteochondral autograft transplantation for Freiberg disease in young athletes

Tetsuro Ishimatsu, Ichiro Yoshimura, Kazuki Kanazawa, Tomonobu Hagio, Takuaki Yamamoto
Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery 2017, 137 (7): 959-965

INTRODUCTION: Freiberg disease is defined as osteochondrosis of the metatarsal head and typically occurs in adolescents with sporting activity. This study aimed to evaluate the sporting activity of young athletes after osteochondral autograft transplantation (OAT) for Freiberg disease.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: OAT for Freiberg disease was conducted in 12 consecutive patients between August 2008 and November 2014. The present study evaluated 10 of these patients who both undertook sporting activity preoperatively and were teenagers at the time of surgery. Clinical evaluations were performed based on the Japanese Society for Surgery of the Foot lesser metatarsophalangeal-interphalangeal scale (JSSF scale) and range of motion (ROM) of the operated metatarsophalangeal joint preoperatively and at the final follow-up (mean 24.6 months). Whether patients were able to return to sporting activity and time until return to sporting activity were evaluated, including the Halasi score to reflect the level of sporting activity. Regarding symptoms at the donor knee, the Lysholm knee scale score was evaluated at the final follow-up.

RESULTS: The mean JSSF scale showed a significant improvement at the final follow-up (p < 0.01). The mean ROM in extension and flexion improved at the final follow-up (p < 0.01, and p < 0.05, respectively). All patients were able to return to sporting activity at a mean time of 3.5 months postoperatively and the Halasi score showed no significant change. The mean Lysholm knee scale score was 97.9 (range 89-100) points at the final follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS: All young athletes who underwent OAT for Freiberg disease achieved early return to almost equal sporting activity postoperatively and exhibited a significant improvement of the ROM of the metatarsophalangeal joint with almost no knee pain.

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