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Treatment of failed cartilage repair: State of the Art
  1. Aad Dhollander1,
  2. Peter Verdonk1,2,3,
  3. Luis Eduardo Passarelli Tirico4,
  4. Andreas H Gomoll5
  1. 1Orthopaedic surgery and traumatology, AZ Klina, Brasschaat, Belgium
  2. 2Antwerp Orthopaedic Center, Monica Hospitals, Antwerpen, Belgium
  3. 3Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Antwerp University, Edegem, Belgium
  4. 4Faculty of Medicine, Orthopedic and Traumatology Institute, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
  5. 5Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Andreas H Gomoll, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 850 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill, Boston, MA 02467, USA; agomoll{at}


Popularity and volume of biological repair for cartilage lesions of the knee have increased substantially in the last decade. However, even with current techniques, ∼25% of patients treated with primary cartilage repair will experience failure of the procedure and likely require further surgery, either revision cartilage repair or conversion to arthroplasty. Factors such as age, activity level, malalignment, meniscal integrity, ligamentous instability and type of prior cartilage repair technique influence the indications and outcomes of revision biological repair. In this state-of-the-art review paper, the authors discuss the contributing factors for, and principles of, failed cartilage repair and its management.

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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