The purpose of this study was to evaluate the long-term functional and radiological outcomes of arthroscopic removal of unstable osteochondral lesions with subchondral drilling in the lateral femoral condyle. We reviewed the outcome of 23 patients (28 knees) with stage III or IV osteochondritis dissecans lesions of the lateral femoral condyle at a mean follow-up of 14 years (10 to 19). The functional clinical outcomes were assessed using the Lysholm score, which improved from a mean of 38.1 (SD 3.5) pre-operatively to a mean of 87.3 (SD 5.4) at the most recent review (p = 0.034), and the Tegner activity score, which improved from a pre-operative median of 2 (0 to 3) to a median of 5 (3 to 7) at final follow-up (p = 0.021). The radiological degenerative changes were evaluated according to Tapper and Hoover's classification and when compared with the pre-operative findings, one knee had grade 1, 22 knees had grade 2 and five knees had grade 3 degenerative changes. The overall outcomes were assessed using Hughston's rating scale, where 19 knees were rated as good, four as fair and five as poor. We found radiological evidence of degenerative changes in the third or fourth decade of life at a mean of 14 years after arthroscopic excision of the loose body and subchondral drilling for an unstable osteochondral lesion of the lateral femoral condyle. Clinical and functional results were more satisfactory.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine