OATS, or osteochondral autograft transplantation surgery, is a surgical procedure that can be used to treat cartilage damage in the knee. In this blog, we will discuss what OATS is, how it works, and who may be a good candidate for this procedure.
What is OATS?
OATS is a surgical procedure that involves removing healthy cartilage and bone from one part of the knee joint and transplanting it into an area of damaged cartilage in the same joint. The procedure is performed under general or regional anesthesia and can take several hours to complete.
During the procedure, the surgeon will make a small incision in the knee and use specialized instruments to remove a small cylinder-shaped piece of healthy cartilage and bone from a non-weight-bearing area of the knee joint. This piece of tissue, known as an autograft, is then transplanted into the damaged area of the knee joint, where it is secured with pins or screws.
How does OATS work?
OATS works by replacing damaged cartilage and bone with healthy tissue from the same individual. The transplanted tissue integrates with the surrounding tissue and gradually becomes a permanent part of the joint.
OATS is typically recommended for patients with small to medium-sized areas of cartilage damage in the knee. It is often performed in conjunction with other procedures, such as arthroscopy or osteotomy, to correct any underlying joint abnormalities that may have contributed to the cartilage damage.
Who is a good candidate for OATS?
Candidates for OATS typically include individuals who:
* Have a small to medium-sized area of cartilage damage in the knee
* Have failed to respond to conservative treatments such as physical therapy, bracing, or medication
* Have a healthy knee joint with good alignment and stability
* Are physically active and want to return to a high level of activity
Like any surgical procedure, OATS carries some risks, including infection, bleeding, and damage to surrounding tissue. However, for many patients, the benefits of OATS can include reduced pain and improved knee function, which can lead to a better quality of life and increased physical activity.
In conclusion, OATS is a surgical procedure that can be used to treat cartilage damage in the knee. It works by transplanting healthy tissue from one part of the knee joint into an area of damaged tissue. OATS may be a good option for patients with small to medium-sized areas of cartilage damage who have failed to respond to conservative treatments and want to return to a high level of physical activity. If you are experiencing knee pain or suspect you may have cartilage damage, consult with your healthcare provider to determine if OATS is a suitable treatment for damaged cartilage in knee.