Purpose of Technology: Mosaicplasty is a technique for repairing cartilage in weight-bearing joints that have been damaged by trauma or degenerative processes. It consists of removing small cylinders of cartilage or bone and cartilage from low- or non-weight-bearing sites in the affected joint or another joint in the patient.

Rationale: Mosaicplasty places durable, living cartilage at sites within joints that have high levels of physical stress due to weight bearing and motion.   

Controversy: Mosaicplasty is a complex procedure that requires recreation of a mobile, load-bearing surface. Inaccurate reconstruction can create uneven physical stresses that accelerate breakdown of the transplanted cartilage. This technique can also cause complications at the donor site.

Relevant Questions:

  • Does mosaicplastic repair of osteochondral (OC) defects reduce symptoms and improve joint function in patients with knee or ankle injuries?
  • Does mosaicplasty of OC defects reduce symptoms and improve function in patients with injuries of other joints such as the elbow, shoulder, or hip?
  • How does the efficacy of mosaicplasty compare with other available treatments, such as arthroscopic interventions, autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) and microfracture (MF)?
  • Is mosaicplasty safe?
  • Have definitive patient selection criteria been established for use of mosaicplasty?

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