Effectiveness of surgical treatments on healing of cartilage and function level in patients with osteochondral lesions of the tibial plafond: A systematic review

E.M. Jagtenberg*, P.H.S. Kalmet, M.A.P. de Krom, J.P.S. Hermus, H.A.M. Seelen, M. Poeze

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Osteochondral lesions of the tibial plafond (OLTPs) occur less frequently than those of the talus, and treatment guidelines have not been determined. The aim of the current review was to evaluate the effectiveness of surgical treatments on the healing of cartilage and on function level, i.e. pain reduction, reduced swelling and improved joint range of motion, in patients with OLTPs.Methods: A comprehensive literature search in PubMed/MEDLINE, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and Google Scholar was performed up to December 2020. The outcome measures were healing of cartilage and function level.Results: Four studies investigating treatment of OLTPs were included. Three studies investigated treatment by means of microfracture. One of these studies showed an osteochondral defect filling in 52.0% of patients. All three studies showed an improvement in function level. Antegrade drilling was evaluated in one study, showing contrasting results in two patients. One-step bone marrow-derived cell transplantation was evaluated in one study, showing an osteochondral defect filling in 68.0% of patients and improvements in patients' function level.Conclusions: Arthroscopic treatment of OLTPs by means of microfracture and bone marrow-derived cell transplantation (BMDCT) seem effective for the outcome at the patient's function level, while BMDCT showed more promising results regarding defect filling. However, this is based on the current available evidence with poor quality of methodology. Further research is of paramount importance to understand this injury and to evaluate the best treatments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-40
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Orthopaedics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


  • Ankle
  • Osteochondral lesion
  • Defect
  • Tibial plafond
  • Systematic review
  • Arthroscopy

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