Public Defence: Svend Ulstein Svend Ulstein at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis “Prognosis and treatement of focal cartilage lesions of the knee joint. Medium to long-term results” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Photo: UiO / Ine Eriksen

Trial Lecture – time and place

See Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Professor Eirik Solheim Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Bergen
  • Second opponent: Senior Consultant Björn Barenius, Department of Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Vegard Dahl, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor Pål Gulbrandsen, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Senior Consultant Jan Harald Røtterud, Akershus University Hospital


Prognosis and treatment of focal cartilage lesions of the knee joint, medium- to long-term results

The articular cartilage of the knee joint is commonly injured, and the difficulty in treating these injuries has been recognized among orthopaedic surgeons for centuries. A focal cartilage lesion, isolated or concomitant to other intra-articular injuries, may cause pain and disturbed joint function in the often young and active individual.

The present thesis is the result of the ambition to increase the knowledge on the medium-to long-term effects on prognosis of focal cartilage lesions of the knee joint, and the outcome following surgery.

In paper I, we aimed to compare the long-term outcome following two commonly used surgical techniques for isolated cartilage lesions (Microfracture [MF] vs. Osteochondral Autologous Transplantation [OAT]). 25 patients were randomized to MF or OAT. At the 10-year follow-up, both treatment groups reported significant improvements in patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) from baseline, but no between-group differences in PROMs, muscle strength deficits or radiographic osteoarthritis (OA) were detected.

In papers II-IV, data from the Norwegian and Swedish national knee ligament registries were used to investigate if there were any differences in medium- to long-term PROMs in patients with and without concomitant cartilage lesions at the time of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction (paper II and III), and to investigate the effect of surgical treatment (debridement or MF versus no surgical treatment) of concomitant cartilage lesions (paper IV).

We found that patients with concomitant cartilage lesions improved significantly less than patients without such lesions up to 5 years after ACL-reconstruction, and that the surgical treatment strategy of debridement or MF of concomitant full-thickness cartilage lesions in the setting of ACL-reconstruction conferred no benefit over nonoperative treatment.

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Published May 29, 2019 2:16 PM - Last modified May 29, 2019 2:26 PM