Patient-Oriented And Performance-Based Outcomes After Knee Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation: A Timeline For The First Year Of Recovery

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jennifer Howard, Assistant Professor, PhD (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: Context: It is well established that autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) can require extended recovery postoperatively; however, little information exists to provide clinicians and patients with a timeline for anticipated function during the first year after ACI. Objective: To document the recovery of functional performance of activities of daily living after ACI. Patients: ACI patients (n = 48, 29 male; 35.1 ± 8.0 y). Intervention: All patients completed functional tests (weight-bearing squat, walk-across, sit-to-stand, step- up/over, and forward lunge) using the NeuroCom long force plate (Clackamas, OR) and completed patient-reported outcomemeasures (International Knee Documentation Committee Subjective Knee Evaluation Form, Lysholm, Western Ontario and McMaster Osteoarthritis Index [WOMAC], and 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey) preoperatively and 3, 6, and 12 mo postoperatively. Main Outcome Measures: A covariance pattern model was used to compare performance and self-reported outcome across time and provide a timeline for functional recovery after ACI. Results: Participants demonstrated significant improvement in walk-across stride length from baseline (42.0% ± 8.9% height) at 6 (46.8% ± 8.1%) and 12 mo (46.6% ± 7.6%). Weight bearing on the involved limb during squatting at 30°, 60°, and 90° was significantly less at 3 mo than presurgery. Step-up/over time was significantly slower at 3 mo (1.67 ±1.69s) than at baseline (1.49 ± 0.33 s), 6 mo (1.51 ± 0.36 s), and 12 mo (1.40 ± 0.26 s). Step-up/over lift-up index was increased from baseline (41.0% ± 11.3% body weight [BW]) at 3 (45.0% ± 11.7% BW), 6 (47.0% ± 11.3% BW), and 12 mo (47.3% ± 11.6% BW). Forward-lunge time was decreased at 3 mo (1.51 ± 0.44 s) compared with baseline (1.39 ± 0.43 s), 6 mo (1.32 ± 0.05 s), and 12 mo (1.27± 0.06). Similarly, forward-lunge impact force was decreased at 3 mo (22.2% ± 1.4% BW) compared with baseline (25.4% ± 1.5% BW). The WOMAC demonstrated significant improvements at 3 mo. All patient-reported outcomes were improved from baseline at 6 and 12 mo postsurgery. Conclusions: Patients’ perceptions of improvements may outpace physical changes in function. Decreased function for at least the first 3 mo after ACI should be anticipated, and improvement in performance of tasks requiring weight-bearing knee flexion, such as squatting, going down stairs, or lunging, may not occur for a year or more after surgery.

Additional Information

Howard, J. S., et al. (2014). "Patient-Oriented and Performance-Based Outcomes After Knee Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation: A Timeline for the First Year of Recovery." Journal of Sport Rehabilitation 23(3): 223-234. Publisher version of record available at:
Language: English
Date: 2014
cartilage, chondral repair, functional assessment, functional testing

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