2015 ISAKOS Biennial Congress ePoster #1434

Return to Work in Workers Compensation Patients Undergoing Inlay Arthroplasty for Mono-, Bi-, And Tri-Compartmental Cartilage Defects

Gregory Markarian, MD, Chicago, Illinois UNITED STATES
Angie Botto-van Bemden, PhD, ATC, CSCS, Holiday, FL UNITED STATES

OAN Sportsmedicine, Napperville, IL, USA

FDA Status Not Applicable

Summary: Return to Work in Workers Compensation Patients treated with contoured inlay arthroplasty for mono-, bi-, and tri-compartmetal full thickness cartilage defects.




Knee cartilage injuries are frequent and can be highly symptomatic with incapacitating pain and debilitating functional restrictions. These defects not only affect activities of daily living and sports participation, but may also significantly impact the patients’ ability to return to work. The goal of this investigation was to establish a benchmark for the return to work rate in workers compensation patients undergoing knee resurfacing with contoured articular inlay components.

Material And Methods

A cohort of 32 consecutive worker’s compensation patients underwent knee resurfacing (n=34 knees; 2 bilaterals) by the primary author between 2009-2013. There were 26 male and 8 female patients with an average age of 50.2 years (range: 33-65). Data were collected from patients’ medical records, and functional capacity evaluations.


15 patients had mono-, 15 bi- and four tri-compartmental degeneration. All patients had Grade III or IV cartilage defects without subchondral collapse confirmed radiographically and during arthroscopy. All chondral lesions were effectively covered with contoured inlay arthroplasty implants. 56% of the procedures were performed on an inpatient, 44% on an outpatient basis. At last follow-up, all patients had completed their treatment including postoperative rehabilitation. Ninety-four percent of patients were able to return to work postoperatively. The median time for return to work was 11.1 months (range: 3.3-37.3 months) following surgery.


This study reports one of the highest return to work rates in workers’ compensated patients following orthopaedic surgery observed in the literature to date. Knee resurfacing, when performed prior to subchondral collapse in full thickness defects, proves to be an effective procedure for returning workers compensation patients back to active employment, typically less than 12 months postoperatively while preserving the knee for future onlay arthroplasty procedures if needed.