An accelerated 6-week return to full weight bearing after matrix-induced autologous chondrocyte implantation results in good clinical outcomes to 5 years post-surgery

Jay R. Ebert, Michael Fallon, David J. Wood, Gregory C. Janes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: To investigate the mid-term outcomes of an accelerated return to full weight bearing (WB) after matrix-induced autologous chondrocyte implantation (MACI). Methods: This randomized study allocated 35 patients (37 knees) to a 6 week (n = 18) or 8 week (n = 19) return to full WB after MACI. Patients were evaluated pre-operatively and at 1, 2 and minimum 5 years (range 5.5–7 years), using the KOOS, SF-36, visual analogue pain scale, 6-min walk test and active knee range of motion (ROM). Peak isokinetic knee extensor and flexor strength was assessed, with limb symmetry indices (LSIs) calculated. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was undertaken to evaluate the repair tissue, and an MRI composite score was calculated. Results: While no group differences (n.s.) were observed, significant improvement was observed for all patient-reported outcome measures (p < 0.05), 6-min walk distance (p = 0.040), active knee flexion (p = 0.002) and extension (p < 0.0001) ROM, and the LSI for peak knee extensor strength (p < 0.0001). At final review, 87.5% (6 weeks) and 82.4% (8 weeks) of patients were satisfied overall. A non-significant decline (n.s.) was observed for the MRI composite score from 1-year post-surgery to final review, with no significant MRI-based differences (n.s.) between groups. At final review, two grafts (6-week n = 1, 8-week n = 1) demonstrated MRI-based graft failure, while an additional patient had progressed toward knee arthroplasty (8.1% failure rate at minimum 5 years). Conclusions: The 6-week return to full WB after MACI provided comparable clinical and MRI-based outcomes beyond 5 years post-surgery, without jeopardizing the graft. This 6-week WB protocol is faster than those previously proposed and studied. Level of Evidence: II.

Original languageEnglish
JournalKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jan 2021

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