Computed tomography analysis of osteochondral defects of the talus after arthroscopic debridement and microfracture

M. L. Reilingh, C. J. A. van Bergen, L. Blankevoort, R. M. Gerards, I. C. M. van Eekeren, G. M. M. J. Kerkhoffs, C. N. van Dijk

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27 Citations (Scopus)


The primary surgical treatment of osteochondral defects (OCD) of the talus is arthroscopic debridement and microfracture. Healing of the subchondral bone is important because it affects cartilage repair and thus plays a role in pathogenesis of osteoarthritis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the dimensional changes and bony healing of talar OCDs after arthroscopic debridement and microfracture. Fifty-eight patients with a talar OCD were treated with arthroscopic debridement and microfracture. Computed tomography (CT) scans were obtained at baseline, 2 weeks postoperatively, and 1 year postoperatively. Three-dimensional changes and bony healing were analysed on CT scans. Additionally, clinical outcome was measured with the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) ankle-hindfoot score and numeric rating scales (NRS) for pain. Average OCD size increased significantly (p < 0.001) in all directions from 8.6 (SD 3.6) × 6.3 (SD 2.6) × 4.8 (SD 2.3) mm (anterior-posterior × medial-lateral × depth) preoperatively to 11.3 (SD 3.4) × 7.9 (SD 2.8) × 5.8 (SD 2.3) mm 2 weeks postoperatively. At 1-year follow-up, average defect size was 8.3 (SD 4.2) × 5.7 (SD 3.0) × 3.6 (SD 2.4) mm. Only average defect depth decreased significantly (p < 0.001) from preoperative to 1 year postoperative. Fourteen of the 58 OCDs were well healed. No significant differences in the AOFAS and NRS-pain were found between the well and poorly healed OCDs. Arthroscopic debridement and microfracture of a talar OCD leads to an increased defect size on the direct postoperative CT scan but restores at 1-year follow-up. Only fourteen of the 58 OCDs were filled up completely, but no differences were found between the clinical outcomes and defect healing at 1-year follow-up. IV
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1286-1292
JournalKnee surgery, sports traumatology, arthroscopy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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