Surgical management of cartilage lesions in the knee
Articular cartilage injuries are common in the knee, and are associated with poor healing and long-term disability. Various surgical treatments are available to patients to provide symptomatic relief and attempt to restore function. The goal of the following systematic review was to evaluate the literature in regards to the effectiveness of articular cartilage repair and restoration surgical procedures in the knee.
Of all studies that investigated muscle performance, all demonstrated persistent deficits in quadriceps femoris (QF) strength up to 7 years post-surgery. The two studies that evaluated knee kinematics and kinetics revealed deficits for up to 12-months post-procedure. Whilst seven studies demonstrated improved functional capacity during lower level tasks (6-minute walk test), three other studies revealed that this was not the case for higher-level activities (single-leg hop test). Furthermore, persistent gait alterations were present in the five studies investigating this outcome.
Future studies need to investigate rehabilitation protocols that mitigate these negative outcomes following articular cartilage surgical procedure.