Regenerative treatment in osteochondral lesions of the talus: autologous chondrocyte implantation versus one-step bone marrow derived cells transplantation

Roberto Buda, Francesca Vannini, Francesco Castagnini, Marco Cavallo, Alberto Ruffilli, Laura Ramponi, Gherardo Pagliazzi, Sandro Giannini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Osteochondral lesions of the talus (OLT) usually require surgical treatment. Regenerative techniques for hyaline cartilage restoration, like autologous chondrocytes implantation (ACI) or bone marrow derived cells transplantation (BMDCT), should be preferred. The aim of this work is comparing two clusters with OLT, treated with ACI or BMDCT.

Methods: Eighty patients were treated with regenerative techniques, 40 with ACI and 40 with BMDCT. The two groups were homogenous regarding age, lesion size and depth, previous surgeries, etiology of the lesion, subchondral bone graft, final follow-up and pre-operative AOFAS score. The two procedures were performed arthroscopically. The scaffold was a hyaluronic acid membrane in all the cases, loaded with previously cultured chondrocytes (ACI) or with bone marrow concentrated cells, harvested in the same surgical session (BMDCT). All the patients were clinically and radiologically evaluated, using MRI Mocart score and T2 mapping sequence.

Results: Clinical results were similar in both groups at 48 months. No statistically significant influence was reported after evaluation of all the pre-operative parameters. The rate of return to sport activity showed slightly better results for BMDCT than ACI. MRI Mocart score was similar in both groups. MRI T2 mapping evaluation highlighted a higher presence of hyaline like values in the BMDCT group, and lower incidence of fibrocartilage as well.

Conclusions: To date, ACI and BMDCT showed to be effective regenerative techniques for the treatment of OLT. BMDCT could be preferred over ACI for the single step procedure, patients’ discomfort and lower costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)893-900
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Orthopaedics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2015


  • Ankle
  • Autologous chondrocytes implantation
  • Bone marrow
  • Osteochondral lesions
  • Regenerative techniques
  • T2 mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Medicine(all)


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