Systematic Review| Volume 38, ISSUE 10, P2919-2929, October 2022

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Males and Females Exhibit Comparable Outcomes Following Treatment of Osteochondritis Dissecans Lesions of the Knee: A Systematic Review


      The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of patient sex on outcomes after treatment of osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) lesions of the knee through a systematic review of current evidence.


      This review was conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines using the PubMed, PubMed Central, Embase, Ovid Medline, Cochrane Libraries, and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) databases. Relevant outcomes included functional (e.g., International Knee Documentation Committee and Subjective Knee Evaluation, Lysholm Knee Score) and clinical outcomes (e.g., symptom/pain resolution, reoperation rates) for males and females after operative or nonoperative treatment of knee OCD lesions.


      Ten articles with a total of 691 (73%) males and 260 (27%) females were included. Mean age ranged from 11.3 ± 2.1 years to 34.5 ± 10.3 years, and follow-up ranged from 6 months to 16.3 years. In four studies reporting functional outcomes, no significant differences were found between males and females in any metric assessed (all P > .05). Seven studies reported clinical outcomes after treatment of knee OCD lesions. One study determined males were more likely to have a successful nonoperative outcome than females (OR: 1.85, 95% CI: 1.00-3.40). Another study found males had a lower risk of developing symptomatic knee pain following operative or nonoperative treatment at a mean 14-year follow-up (HR: 0.24; 95% CI: 0.07-0.81). The remaining 5 studies reported statistically comparable clinical outcomes between males and females (all P > .05).


      The present systematic review found mostly comparable clinical and functional outcomes between males and females following treatment of knee OCD lesions. Despite sex-related differences in the prevalence of these lesions and limited evidence of differences in clinical outcomes, these data suggest that sex does not independently predict outcomes after treatment.

      Level of Evidence

      III, systematic review of Level II and III studies.
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