We investigated the prognostic indicators for collagen-covered autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI-C) performed for symptomatic osteochondral defects of the knee.
We analysed prospectively 199 patients for up to four years after surgery using the modified Cincinnati score. Arthroscopic assessment and biopsy of the neocartilage was also performed whenever possible. The favourable factors for ACI-C include younger patients with higher pre-operative modified Cincinnati scores, a less than two-year history of symptoms, a single defect, a defect on the trochlea or lateral femoral condyle and patients with fewer than two previous procedures on the index knee. Revision ACI-C in patients with previous ACI and mosaicplasties which had failed produced significantly inferior clinical results. Gender (p = 0.20) and the size of the defect (p = 0.97) did not significantly influence the outcome.