Surgical Treatment of Osteochondral Lesions of the Tibial Plafond: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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BACKGROUND: The literature on osteochondral lesions of the tibial plafond (OLTPs) is sparse. The aim of this study was therefore to provide an overview of clinical and radiological outcomes following treatment of OLTPs. METHODS: We performed a systematic search of the MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane library databases. The review was performed in accordance with the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines and included all original articles on treatment outcomes for OLTPs. The methodological quality of the articles was assessed using the Methodological Index for Non-Randomized Studies (MINORS). Baseline patient and lesion characteristics were pooled and weighted according to the number of lesions per study. The primary outcome was any clinical or patient-reported outcome measure pooled by treatment method when separable data were available. Secondary outcomes were complications, reoperation rates, radiological outcomes, and sport outcomes. RESULTS: The search yielded 2,079 articles, of which 10 studies (1 prospective case series, 1 retrospective comparative study, and 8 retrospective case series) with a total of 175 patients were included. The overall methodological quality of the studies was low. All patients were treated surgically; 96% of the lesions were primary cases (i.e., first-time surgery) and 58% were solitary tibial lesions (i.e., no opposing talar lesion). Arthroscopic bone marrow stimulation was the most frequently used treatment strategy (51%), followed by cartilage transplantation (17%), chondrogenesis-inducing techniques (11%), osteochondral transplantation (3%), retrograde drilling (3%), and mixed (i.e., inseparable) treatments (15%). The clinical outcomes of the different surgical therapies were considered to be moderate to good. The pooled postoperative AOFAS (American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society) score for bone marrow stimulation and osteochondral transplantation was 54.8 (95% confidence interval [CI], 49.5 to 85.0) (n = 14) and 85.3 (95% CI, 56 to 100) (n = 3), respectively. Overall, complications and reoperations were rarely reported. The pooled complication and reoperation rates could only be calculated for bone marrow stimulation and were 5% and 7%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Surgical interventions for OLTPs appear to yield moderate to good clinical outcomes. Bone marrow stimulation resulted in a moderate AOFAS score. Complications and reintervention rates were found to be low. The current evidence in the literature is limited because of the underreporting of clinical, radiological, and sport data and the heterogenous outcome scores reported. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJBJS reviews
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2021

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