Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center

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Information about project titled 'Natural course of cartilage injuries in the knee'

Natural course of cartilage injuries in the knee

Details about the project - category Details about the project - value
Project status: Published
Project manager: Sverre Løken
Supervisor(s): Lars Engebretsen
Coworker(s): Tom Ludvigsen, Stig Heir, Asbjørn Årøen


Cartilage injuries may be localized to a small area (focal injury) or to larger areas as in osteoarthritis. Focal cartilage injuries may be caused by a traumatic event or a disease in the bone underlying the cartilage (osteochondritis dissecans). Surgical treatment of cartilage injuries is still controversial because we do not know if the results of treatment are better than the natural course. In addition we do not know whether any of the surgical treatment options are better than the others.

In 1999 a six months registration of all knee arthroscopies at the Central Hospital of Akershus, Martina Hansen Hospital and Ullevål University Hospital was performed. These three hospitals serve approximately
500 000 inhabitants

A scoring system developed by the International Cartilage Research Society (ICRS) was used. The study showed that 11% of the knees that underwent knee arthroscopy had a full thickness focal cartilage injury. About half of these injuries (6%) had a area of more than 2 square centimeters European football, team handball and skiing were the predominating activities that led to injury. The results from this primary registration are accepted for publication (Årøen et al)

We now plan to perform a five year follow up study (fall 2004) of the patients in this study with a confirmed full thickness cartilage injury of more than 2cm2 and a matched control group. the control group will be matched in relation to age, gender, sport and additional injuries. The patients will fill in validated tests for scoring og knee function (KOOS, Cincinatti, Lysholm, Tegner) and general function (SF-36). They will undergo a clinical examination according to the ICRS form.

This study will hopefully provide information about the natural course of untreated cartilage injuries.