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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 91-B, Issue 9 | Pages 1172 - 1177
1 Sep 2009
Gikas PD Morris T Carrington R Skinner J Bentley G Briggs T

Autologous chondrocyte implantation is an option in the treatment of full-thickness chondral or osteochondral injuries which are symptomatic. The goal of surgery and rehabilitation is the replacement of damaged cartilage with hyaline or hyaline-like cartilage, producing improved levels of function and preventing early osteoarthritis. The intermediate results have been promising in terms of functional and clinical improvement.

Our aim was to explore the hypothesis that the histological quality of the repair tissue formed after autologous chondrocyte implantation improved with increasing time after implantation.

In all, 248 patients who had undergone autologous chondrocyte implantation had biopsies taken of the repair tissue which then underwent histological grading. Statistical analysis suggested that with doubling of the time after implantation the likelihood of a favourable histological outcome was increased by more than fourfold (p < 0.001).