Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2023 Feb 7. doi: 10.1097/CORR.0000000000002557. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Subchondral bone marrow lesions identified on knee MRI are believed to play a role in osteoarthritis-associated pain. The subchondroplasty procedure is an arthroscopically assisted procedure for treating such lesions to avoid larger procedures such as knee arthroplasty. However, the survivorship free of conversion to arthroplasty and the factors associated with an increased likelihood of conversion of subchondroplasty to arthroplasty have not been well defined.
QUESTIONS/PURPOSES: We performed this study to (1) determine the 5-year survivorship of subchondroplasty free from conversion to knee arthroplasty (unicompartmental or total) and (2) identify variables that were associated with progression to knee arthroplasty after a subchondroplasty procedure.
METHODS: In all, 216 patients who underwent a subchondroplasty procedure performed by one surgeon with subchondroplasty experience at a single-center, multilocation facility between September 2014 and August 2017 were retrospectively evaluated to estimate survivorship free from conversion to knee arthroplasty at 5 years. The mean ± SD age and BMI at the time of subchondroplasty procedure were 59 ± 11 years and 33 ± 8 kg/m2, respectively; 60% (129 of 216) of the patients were women. Other variables collected were smoking status and grade and location of chondral lesions. The electronic medical record was reviewed to determine whether the patient had a knee arthroplasty after subchondroplasty. Survivorship free from conversion to knee arthroplasty at 5 years was calculated from a Kaplan-Meier survivorship estimator. Factors associated with progression to knee arthroplasty were examined using t-tests and chi-square analyses. Variables showing evidence of an association with knee arthroplasty were explored further using a Kaplan-Meier survivorship estimator (n = 190).
RESULTS: Kaplan-Meier survivorship free from conversion to knee arthroplasty was 73% (95% CI 67% to 79%) at 5 years after subchondroplasty. We found that age older than 50 years and Grade 4 chondral lesions were associated with conversion to knee arthroplasty. Patients with a Grade 4 chondral lesion had 5-year survivorship of 62% (95% CI 54% to 71%) and 59% (95% CI 50% to 69%) for those older than 50 years with a Grade 4 chondral lesion.
CONCLUSION: Currently, we recommend a detailed, informed discussion of the risks versus benefits with patients who are considering a subchondroplasty procedure, particularly patients aged 50 years and older and those with Grade 4 chondral lesions. Future randomized trials, including those that compare the subchondroplasty procedure with arthroscopy alone or nonoperative management options, are still needed to confirm the efficacy and role of the subchondroplasty procedure in patients with knee osteoarthritis, because only such prospective studies can determine the success of the procedure.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level IV, therapeutic study.
PMID:36749933 | DOI:10.1097/CORR.0000000000002557