Kyle N. Kunze, MD*, Prem N. Ramkumar, MD, MBA, Joseph E. Manzi, BS, Joshua Wright-Chisem, MD, Benedict U. Nwachukwu, MD, MBA, Riley J. Williams, III, MD




Graft failure after osteochondral allograft transplantation (OCA) of the knee is a devastating outcome, often necessitating subsequent interventions. A comprehensive understanding of the risk factors for failure after OCA of the knee may provide enhanced prognostic data for the knee surgeon and facilitate more informed shared decision-making discussions before surgery.


To perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of risk factors associated with graft failure after OCA of the knee.

Study Design:

Systematic review and meta-analysis; Level of evidence, 4.


The PubMed, Ovid/MEDLINE, and Cochrane databases were queried in April 2021. Data pertaining to study characteristics and risk factors associated with failure after OCA were recorded. DerSimonian-Laird binary random-effects models were constructed to quantitatively evaluate the association between risk factors and graft failure by generating effect estimates in the form of odds ratios (ORs) with 95% CIs, while mean differences (MDs) were calculated for continuous data. Qualitative analysis was performed to describe risk factors that were variably reported.


A total of 16 studies consisting of 1401 patients were included. The overall pooled prevalence of failure was 18.9% (range, 10%-46%). There were 44 risk factors identified, of which 9 were explored quantitatively. There was strong evidence to support that the presence of bipolar chondral defects (OR, 4.20 [95% CI, 1.17-15.08]; P = .028) and male sex (OR, 2.04 [95% CI, 1.17-3.55]; P = .012) were significant risk factors for failure after OCA. Older age (MD, 5.06 years [95% CI, 1.44-8.70]; P = .006) and greater body mass index (MD, 1.75 kg/m2 [95% CI, 0.48-3.03]; P = .007) at the time of surgery were also significant risk factors for failure after OCA. There was no statistically significant evidence to incontrovertibly support that concomitant procedures, chondral defect size, and defect location were associated with an increased risk of failure after OCA.


Bipolar chondral defects, male sex, older age, and greater body mass index were significantly associated with an increased failure rate after OCA of the knee. No statistically significant evidence presently exists to support that chondral defect size and location or concomitant procedures are associated with an increased graft failure rate after OCA of the knee. Additional studies are needed to evaluate these associations.


View Study: 

Risk Factors for Failure After Osteochondral Allograft Transplantation of the Knee: A Systematic Review and Exploratory Meta-analysis