Synthetic Biphasic Scaffolds versus Microfracture for Articular Cartilage Defects of the Knee: A Retrospective Comparative Study

Dean Wang, Danyal H. Nawabi, Aaron J. Krych, Kristofer J. Jones, Joseph Nguyen, Ameer M. Elbuluk, Nadja A. Farshad-Amacker, Hollis G. Potter, Riley J. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the results of a biphasic synthetic scaffold (TruFit, Smith & Nephew) to microfracture for the treatment of knee cartilage defects and identify patient- and lesion-specific factors that influence outcomes. Design: Prospectively collected data from 132 patients (mean age, 41.8 years; 69% male) with isolated chondral or osteochondral femoral defects treated with biphasic synthetic scaffolds (n = 66) or microfracture (n = 66) were reviewed. Clinical outcomes were evaluated longitudinally over 5 years with the Short Form–36 (SF-36), Activities of Daily Living of the Knee Outcome Survey (KOS-ADL), International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC), and Marx Activity Scale. Cartilage-sensitive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed to evaluate osseous integration and cartilage fill in a subgroup of patients. Multivariate regression analysis was used to identify predictors of clinical outcomes within the scaffold group. Results: Both groups demonstrated clinically significant improvements in knee clinical scores over 5 years (P < 0.01). There were no significant differences in KOS-ADL and IKDC scores between groups up to 5 years postoperatively. Marx activity level scores in the microfracture group declined over time, while significant improvements in activity level scores were observed in the scaffold group over 5 years (P < 0.01). Good-quality tissue fill and cartilage isointensity were more often observed in the scaffold group compared with the microfracture group, particularly with longer time intervals. Increasing age, high body mass index, prior microfracture, and traumatic etiology were predictors for inferior outcomes in the scaffold group. Conclusions: Activity level and MRI appearance following treatment of cartilage lesions with the biphasic synthetic scaffold were superior to microfracture over time in this nonrandomized, retrospective comparison.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1002S-1013S
Issue number1_suppl
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • MRI
  • TruFit
  • cartilage
  • knee
  • microfracture
  • scaffold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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