Author(s): Namdari S, Baldwin K, Anakwenze O, Park MJ, Huffman GR,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Microfracture technique is commonly used to treat symptomatic chondral lesions of the knee. Performance outcomes and attrition rates associated with this injury/surgery in National Basketball Association athletes are unclear. HYPOTHESIS: National Basketball Association players undergoing microfracture for symptomatic chondral lesions of the knee will have demonstrable differences in performance compared with preinjury and with matched controls. STUDY DESIGN: Case control study; Level of evidence, 3. METHODS: We evaluated 24 National Basketball Association players who underwent microfracture between 1997 and 2006. Descriptive data and performance data for the first full season preceding and following the index surgery were collected. Data were obtained from 48 matched controls. Univariate/multivariate statistical methods were used to assess change in performance and return to play. RESULTS: Thirty-three percent (8 of 24) of National Basketball Association athletes who underwent microfracture surgery never returned to play in the National Basketball Association. Fourteen players returned to play in the National Basketball Association for >1 season. Within-group comparisons revealed that points scored (P = .008) and minutes played (P = .045) were reduced postoperatively. No performance variables were significantly different when averaged over 40 minutes of play. When compared with controls, cases experienced a significant decline in points per game (P = .013). Multiple regression analysis revealed that cases were 8.15 times less likely to remain in the National Basketball Association than controls (P = .005) after the index year. CONCLUSION: Players undergoing microfracture for knee chondral injuries are at risk for not returning to the National Basketball Association postoperatively. With the exception of points per game, athletes returning exhibited similar performance postoperatively compared with matched controls.
This article was published in Am J Sports Med
and referenced in Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies