Several techniques have been used during the years to treat chondral and osteochondral lesions. Among them, the emerging trend in the field of osteochondral regeneration is to treat the entire osteochondral unit by implanting cell-free scaffolds, which provide a three-dimensional support for the cell growth and may act themselves as stimuli for an “in situ” tissue regeneration. Various multi-layered products have been proposed that mimic both the subchondral bone and the cartilaginous layer. Among these, three have currently been reported in the literature. One has been widely investigated: it is a nanocomposite three-layered collagen-hydroxyapatite scaffold, which is showing promising results clinically and by MRI even at mid-term follow-up. The second is a PLGA-calcium-sulfate bilayer scaffold: however, the literature findings are still controversial and only short-term outcomes of limited case-series have been published. The most recent one is a solid aragonite-based scaffold, which seems to give promising clinical and MRI outcomes, even if the literature is still lacking more in-depth evaluations. Even though the Literature related to this topic is quickly increasing in number, the clinical evidence it is still limited to some case series, and high-level studies are needed to better demonstrate their real effectiveness.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine