Prevalence of Chondral Lesions in Knee Arthroscopy

DOI: 10.2478/jim-2018-0008

Background: Chondral and osteochondral injuries of the knee joint are undervalued in subjects undergoing orthopedic surgery. Chondral lesions are difficult to diagnose as they do not present specific clinical signs. The objective of the study was to establish the prevalence of cartilage injuries in patients undergoing arthroscopy of the knee for knee pain or instability. Materials and methods: A retrospective study was conducted on 355 consecutive knee arthroscopies. Chondral lesions were found in 247 (69.6%) cases. Regarding their location, chondral lesions were more likely to be located on the medial femoral condyle (53.8%), while lesions on the lateral femoral condyle alone (0.8%) were the least frequent ones. Chondral injuries were frequently found with associated articular findings such as meniscal lesions (56.68%) and anterior cruciate ligament tears (2.84%) or both menisci and anterior cruciate ligament tear (15.38%). The ICRS grade II cartilage lesions were most frequently diagnosed (56.3%) while grade IV was the least frequent type (6.9%). Conclusions: Chondral damage is frequently diagnosed during knee arthroscopy, present in more than 50% of the arthroscopies performed for various indications, and an important part of cartilage injuries were linked with other intraarticular findings, such as anterior cruciate ligament tear and medial meniscus tear.