J Knee Surg 2013; 26(01): 031-040
DOI: 10.1055/s-0032-1333308
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Clinical Outcomes Assessment for Articular Cartilage Restoration

Kai Mithoefer
1   Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Marco Acuna
2   Department of Clinical Services, National Institute of Rehabilitation, Mexico City, Mexico
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

05 November 2012

13 November 2012

Publication Date:
22 January 2013 (online)


The purpose of this article is to provide an overview and perspective of the available options for clinical outcomes evaluation of articular cartilage repair in the knee. A nonsystematic literature review of reported clinical measures for functional, qualitative, and quantitative structural outcomes evaluation after knee articular cartilage repair was performed. Several outcome scores have been validated for articular cartilage repair in the knee with the International Knee Documentation Committee score, Lysholm score, and Knee injury Osteoarthritis Outcome Score being reported most frequently. Activity measures including Tegner and Marx activity scales and the rate of return to sports have direct practical relevance for athletically active patients. Macroscopic and histological assessment provides important structural information about repair cartilage quality and quantity. In addition, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) outcome scoring and functional MRI are gaining increasing popularity and promise less invasive systematic assessment. In summary, clinical outcome evaluation after cartilage repair can be performed by various established and validated functional outcome instruments as well as several evolving outcome parameters that provide clinically relevant outcome information for researchers, clinicians, and patients.

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