Hydrogel implant is as effective as osteochondral autologous transplantation for treating focal cartilage knee injury in 24 months

Research paper by Antonio Altenor Bessa de Queiroz, Pedro Debieux, Joicemar Amaro, Mario Ferretti, Moises Cohen

Indexed on: 16 Jan '18Published on: 15 Jan '18Published in: Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy


The treatment approach for a patient with knee joint focal cartilage lesion is a difficult decision. To date, there has been no randomized clinical trial involving Hydrogel (Cartiva™). This study evaluated and compared the results of a hydrogel implant (Cartiva™) with autologous osteochondral transplantation (AOT) for treating knee joint focal cartilage lesions.Thirty-eight symptomatic patients, with a focal cartilage lesion of Outerbridge grades III or IV, were randomized into one of two groups according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Group I underwent AOT, and Group II was treated with a Hydrogel implant. Patients were evaluated preoperatively and again postoperatively at 6, 12, and 24 months using the subjective International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) scores, Visual Analog Scale for Pain (VAS Pain), Activities of Daily Living Scale (ADLS) and Lysholm score.Both groups showed significant improvements from baseline (pre-surgery) to post-surgery (6, 12, and 24 months; p < 0.05), but there was no difference between the groups. Regarding complications, prolonged pain was observed in four patients (10.5%), two from each group, with a regression of symptoms within 1 year.The Hydrogel implant showed similar efficiency as the autologous osteochondral graft for treating knee joint focal cartilage lesions. Both techniques showed satisfactory results compared to preoperative status. The Hydrogel implant was safe and effective, and it provided good stability and joint function at 2-year follow-up.I.