To report clinical outcomes of osteochondral allograft transplantation (OCA) for skeletally mature patients with osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) lesions of the knee in whom prior surgical intervention has failed, and to describe return-to-sport (RTS) rates and any predictive demographic or preoperative variables associated with a higher likelihood to RTS.

Patients who underwent OCA by a single surgeon (B.J.C.) between October 1, 2002, and November 30, 2014, for a diagnosis of OCD with a minimum of 2 years' follow-up were included. Demographic, surgical history, operative, and postoperative data points including RTS were analyzed for all patients collectively, with subanalysis to identify any demographic and operative variables associated with the ability to RTS. Failure was defined as revision OCA, gross appearance of graft failure on second-look arthroscopy, or conversion to arthroplasty.

We identified 41 consecutive patients (43 knees), with 37 patients (39 knees, comprising 26 male and 13 female knees) available for clinical follow-up at an average of 7.29 ± 3.30 years. There was significant improvement (P < .05) in all patient-reported outcome scores, with the exception of the Short Form 12 mental subscale (P = .910). Most patients (81.6%) reported being either mostly satisfied or completely satisfied at final follow-up. Of patients self-identifying as athletes preoperatively (n = 22), 18 (81.8%) achieved RTS at an average of 14.0 ± 8.7 months. Athletes with failure to RTS had a significantly greater body mass index (RTS, 24.68 ± 3.67; no RTS, 27.82 ± 0.69; P = .005). Subsequent surgery was performed in 14 patients (35.9%), and primary OCA failed in 2 patients at an average of 6.2 ± 3.8 years.

OCA is a successful secondary surgical treatment for OCD of the knee in skeletally mature patients and leads to clinically meaningful improvements in patient-reported outcome scores and high patient satisfaction and RTS rates in low-level athletes at an average of 7.29 years' follow-up. Athletes with failure to RTS were found to have a significantly higher body mass index. Although reoperation may be common after OCA (35.9%), the failure rate is low (5.1%) in this series.

Level IV, case series.

Polls results

On a scale of 1 to 10, rate how much this article will change your clinical practice?

NO change
BIG change
75% Article relates to my practice (3/4)
0% Article does not relate to my practice (0/4)
25% Undecided (1/4)

Will this article lead to more cost-effective healthcare?

75% Yes (3/4)
25% No (1/4)
0% Undecided (0/4)

Was this article biased? (commercial or personal)

0% Yes (0/4)
75% No (3/4)
25% Undecided (1/4)

What level of evidence do you think this article is?

0% Level 1 (0/4)
0% Level 2 (0/4)
25% Level 3 (1/4)
50% Level 4 (2/4)
25% Level 5 (1/4)