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Cartilage Repair of the Tibiofemoral Joint With Versus Without Concomitant Osteotomy: A Systematic Review of Clinical Outcomes.

BACKGROUND: The extent to which concomitant osteotomy provides an improvement in clinical outcomes after cartilage repair procedures is unclear.

PURPOSE: To review the existing literature to compare clinical outcomes of patients undergoing cartilage repair of the tibiofemoral joint with versus without concomitant osteotomy.

STUDY DESIGN: Systematic review; Level of evidence, 4.

METHODS: A systematic review was conducted according to the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines by searching PubMed, the Cochrane Library, and Embase to identify studies that directly compared outcomes between cartilage repair of the tibiofemoral joint alone (group A) versus cartilage repair with concomitant osteotomy (high tibial osteotomy [HTO] or distal femoral osteotomy [DFO]) (group B). Studies on cartilage repair of the patellofemoral joint were excluded. The search terms used were as follows: osteotomy AND knee AND ("autologous chondrocyte" OR "osteochondral autograft" OR "osteochondral allograft" OR microfracture). Outcomes in groups A and B were compared based on reoperation rate, complication rate, procedure payments, and patient-reported outcomes (Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score [KOOS], visual analog scale [VAS] for pain, satisfaction, and WOMAC).

RESULTS: Included in the review were 5 studies (1 level 2 study, 2 level 3 studies, 2 level 4 studies) with 1747 patients in group A and 520 patients in group B. The mean patient ages were 34.7 and 37.5 years in groups A and B, respectively, and the mean lesion sizes were 4.0 and 4.5 cm2 , respectively. The mean follow-up time was 44.6 months. The most common lesion location was the medial femoral condyle (n = 999). Preoperative alignment averaged 1.8° and 5.5° of varus in groups A and B, respectively. One study found significant differences between groups in KOOS, VAS, and satisfaction, favoring group B. The reoperation rates were 47.4% and 17.3% in groups A and B, respectively ( P < .0001).

CONCLUSION: Patients undergoing cartilage repair of the tibiofemoral joint with concomitant osteotomy might be expected to experience greater improvement in clinical outcomes with a lower reoperation rate compared with those undergoing cartilage repair alone. Surgeons preparing for cartilage procedures of the knee joint should pay particular attention to preoperative malalignment of the lower extremity to optimize outcomes.

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