Effectiveness of Composite Bone Graft Substitute Plugs in the Treatment of Chondral and Osteochondral Lesions of the Talus

Jason S. Lin, Lucille B. Andersen, Paul J. Juliano

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14 Scopus citations


A review of outcomes in 13 patients with talar dome osteochondral or chondral lesions treated with a bone graft substitute plug was undertaken in an effort to evaluate its effectiveness in comparison with other reported surgical techniques. Mean patient age was 36.4 (range 16 to 57) years. Mean follow-up was 30.1 (range 7 to 43) months. Medial malleolar osteotomy was performed in 9 (69.23%) cases. Average defect diameter was 9.8 (range 5 to 20) mm. Pain decreased significantly from 6.2 (range 3 to 9) to 4.0 (range 0 to 9) (P =.009). Postoperative American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society Ankle-Hindfoot scores averaged 67.3 (range 26 to 100). Younger age, smaller defect size, and avoidance of medial malleolar osteotomy resulted in better outcomes. Mean Short Form-36 scores for the study group fell below US norms in all categories, and 12 (92.31%) ankles demonstrated persistent lesions radiographically. Postoperative magnetic resonance imaging in 2 (15.39%) patients demonstrated enlarged lesions, and 4 (30.77%) patients underwent revision surgery that revealed abnormal cartilage around the implant site. Complications included 1 (7.69%) deep venous thrombosis, 1 (7.69%) arthrofibrosis, and 1 (7.69%) superficial neuritis. Despite some improvement in pain, comparison of functional outcome showed bone graft substitute plug implantation to be less effective overall than other operative interventions. Future investigations with more specific selection criteria are warranted to gain further insight into the efficacy of these bone graft substitute plugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-231
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Foot and Ankle Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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