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Capitellar Osteochondritis Dissecans Lesions of the Elbow: A Systematic Review of Osteochondral Graft Reconstruction Options

Published:February 05, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arthro.2020.01.037

      Purpose

      To systematically evaluate the outcomes and complications of osteochondral autograft transfer (OAT) and osteochondral allograft transplantation (OCA) for the surgical treatment of capitellar osteochondritis dissecans (OCD).

      Methods

      A literature search was conducted across 3 databases (PubMed, Cochrane, and CINAHL [Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature]) from database inception through December 2019 in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Individual study quality was assessed using the Methodological Index for Non-randomized Studies scale. Studies were published between 2005 and 2019.

      Results

      Eighteen studies consisting of 446 elbow OCD lesions treated with OAT surgery were included. There was a single OCA study eligible for inclusion. Patient ages ranged from 10 to 45 years. Of the OAT studies, 4 used autologous costal grafts whereas the remainder used autografts from the knee. Outcome measures were heterogeneously reported. A significant improvement in Timmerman-Andrews scores from preoperatively to postoperatively was reported in 9 of 10 studies. Return-to-play rates to the preinjury level of competitive play ranged from 62% to 100% across 16 studies. Significant improvement in motion, most often extension, was noted in most studies. Reported complication, reoperation, and failure rates ranged from 0% to 11%, 0% to 26%, and 0% to 20%, respectively. When used, knee autografts resulted in low donor-site morbidity (Lysholm scores, 70-100).

      Conclusions

      OAT surgery for large, unstable OCD lesions of the capitellum reliably produced good outcomes, few complications, and a high rate of return to competitive play. Complications are relatively uncommon, and donor-site morbidity is low. Less is known about the performance of OCA given the paucity of available literature.

      Level of Evidence

      Level IV, systematic review of Level II to IV studies.
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