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Table 2 Details of clinical studies in knee lesions

From: The history of radiofrequency energy and Coblation in arthroscopy: a current concepts review of its application in chondroplasty of the knee

Study, Year Type of study Knees treated Follow up Lesion type Key results
Gharaibeh et al. (2017) Level IV, retrospective case series RFE: 840 Up to 6 months Most common site of chondral lesion: - Medial femoral condyle (27%) - Patella (21%) - Trochlea (9%) Postoperative complications: 2.2% Required reoperation: 2.7% Significant improvement in KOOS and WOMAC scores from preoperative to 129 days postoperative (p < 0.0001)
Owens et al. (2002) Level I, RCT RFE: 20 MD: 19 Up to 24 months Isolated patellar chondral lesions (Outerbridge Grade II or III) Fulkerson-Shea score: superior for radiofrequency over mechanical debridement at 24 months (p = 0.0006)
Spahn et al. (2008) Level I, RCT RFE: 30 MD: 30 Up to 12 months Cartilage defect(s) of the medial femoral condyle (Outerbridge Grade III) Significantly better KOOS (p < 0.001) and Tegner scores (p < 0.001) for RFE over MD at 12 months Significantly lower VAS pain score (p = 0.014) for RFE over MD at 12 months
Spahn et al.a (2010) Level I, RCT RFE: 25 MD: 15 Up to 48 months Cartilage defect(s) of the medial femoral condyle (Outerbridge Grade III) Significantly higher proportion of revisions for persistent knee problems occurred in the MD group than RFE group (4 vs 14; p < 0.01) Significantly better KOOS (p < 0.001) and Tegner scores (p = 0.005) for RFE over MD at 48 monthsb
Spahn et al.a (2016b) Level I, RCT RFE: 13 MD: 9 Up to 120 months Cartilage defect(s) of the medial femoral condyle (Outerbridge Grade III) Significantly longer mean time to revision for RFE group over MD group at up to 120 months (94.1 vs 62.5 months; p = 0.022)
Voloshin et al. (2007) Level IV, retrospective case series RFE: 193 Not reported Partial-thickness articular cartilage lesions (Outerbridge Grade I-IV) Second-look follow-up arthroscopy of 25 lesions showed 12% with progressive deterioration, 32% with no change, 32% with partial filling of the defect, and 24% with complete filling with stable repair tissue
  1. Abbreviations: KOOS knee osteoarthritis outcome score, MD mechanical debridement, RCT randomized controlled trial, RFE radiofrequency energy, VAS visual analogue scale, WOMAC Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index
  2. aFollow-up analyses of the initial 2008 analysis by Spahn et al. (2008)
  3. bPatients who underwent revision not included in clinical outcomes analysis