Does the symmetry of patellar morphology matter when matching osteochondral allografts for osteochondral defects involving the central ridge of the patella?

June 14, 2021

Karan Patel (1), Nabeel S. Salka (2), Austin Ramme (3), Jaron C. Scott (4), John A. Grant (5)
Cartilage, 13, Issue 2, December 2021: 703S-712S. DOI: 10.1177/1947603520951624


cartilage; patella; osteochondral allograft


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine if differences in Wiberg classification play a role in the ability of donor patellar osteochondral allografts to match the native patellar surface when treating osteochondral defects of the patellar apex. Design : Twenty (10 Wiberg I and 10 Wiberg II/III) human patellae were designated as the recipient. Each recipient was size-matched to both a Wiberg I and a Wiberg II/III patellar donor. A 16-mm circular osteochondral “defect” was created on the central ridge of the recipient patella. The randomly ordered donor Wiberg I or Wiberg II/III plug was harvested from a homologous location and transplanted into the recipient. The recipient was then nano-CT (computed tomography) scanned, digitally reconstructed, registered to the initial nano-CT scan of the recipient patella, and processed to determine root mean squared circumferential step-off heights as well as surface height deviation. The process was then repeated for the other allograft plug. Results : There was no significant difference in mean step-off height between matched and unmatched Wiberg plugs; however, there was a statistically significant difference in surface height deviation over the whole surface (0.50 mm and 0.64 mm respectively, P = 0.03). This difference of 0.14 mm is not felt to be clinically significant. Tibial width was correlated to patellar width (r = 0.82) and patellar height (r = 0.68). Conclusions : For osteochondral allograft sizes up to 16 mm there appears to be no advantage to match donor and recipient patellar morphology. Further study is warranted to evaluate defects requiring larger graft sizes.

How Our Software Was Used

Dragonfly was used to orientate nano-CT images.

Author Affiliation

(1) Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, AZ, USA.
(2) University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
(3) Steindler Orthopedic Clinic, Iowa City, IA, USA.
(4) Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
(5) MedSport, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA