Whether you damage your knee playing sports or you have small areas of degeneration, a cartilage transplant may relieve the pain while restoring optimal function. As an experienced orthopedic surgeon, Timothy C. Wilson, MD, in Lexington, Kentucky, performs cartilage transplants using today’s most advanced techniques to promote healthy knees. To learn whether you’re a good candidate for a cartilage transplant, schedule an appointment online or call the office today.
Damaged cartilage can’t heal because it doesn’t have a blood supply. Without blood flow, your body’s platelets and stem cells, which activate healing and regenerate new tissues, can't travel to the damaged area and restore the cartilage. As a result, a cartilage transplant is often the best treatment option.
Dr. Wilson may recommend a cartilage transplant when you damage one of the two types of cartilage in your knee. Articular cartilage is attached to the ends of the bones in the joint, where it allows smooth movement.
The meniscus is another type of cartilage in the knee joint that attaches to the tibia (shin bone) and the surrounding joint capsules. You have two menisci that lie between the tibia and femur, where they absorb shock and decrease joint loading.
You can damage both types of cartilage due to an injury, whether during sports or everyday activities. They can also break down due to age-related degeneration.
Recent advances in surgical techniques have made cartilage transplants more viable compared with past techniques. Dr. Wilson specializes in two types of cartilage transplants:
OATS stands for osteochondral autograft transplantation and osteochondral allograft transplantation procedures. Dr. Wilson performs both types of OATS surgeries to repair localized areas of damage in the articular cartilage.
The difference between the two is that an autograft procedure uses a small piece of cartilage removed from another part of your own knee joint, while an allograft uses cartilage from a different source.
For an OATS allograft, Dr. Wilson uses BioCartilage® Extracellular Matrix, an advanced product that contains all of the components of articular cartilage combined with growth factors to facilitate healing.
During an OATS procedure, Dr. Wilson cleans away the damaged cartilage. Then he places a small plug of your cartilage or BioCartilage into the area.
When your meniscus is damaged, Dr. Wilson may recommend removing the cartilage and replacing it with a meniscus from a tissue bank. He carefully measures your tibia using X-rays to be sure the replacement cartilage is a good fit for your knee.
If you suffer from ongoing knee pain and cartilage damage, call Timothy C. Wilson, MD, or book an appointment online.