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New procedure bests standard of care for fixing damaged cartilage
Date:2/7/2012

A new study has demonstrated that a procedure wherein healthy cartilage is transplanted to fix an area of damaged cartilage (osteoarticular cartilage transplantation or OATS procedure) is superior to the standard of care for repairing cartilage defects. It is thought that fixing such lesions may ultimately help to prevent the onset of osteoarthritis, and get athletic individuals back to sporting activities reliably. The study by Hospital for Special Surgery researchers was reported at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Feb. 7-11.

"Studies have shown that there is only about a 40% return to sport after the microfracture procedure which is the standard of care treatment in the U.S. Over 90% of patients return to sport with the OATS procedure, said Riley J. Williams, III, M.D., a sports medicine orthopedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City and senior investigator of the study. "For those who have isolated cartilage lesions of the femur and are interested in a return to sport in a timely and predictable fashion, the OATS procedure, relative to microfracture, represents a better option."

For years, researchers have known that erosion of articular cartilage, the soft lining or cushion at the end of bones, can lead to symptomatic osteoarthritis. The cartilage can be damaged from normal wear and tear or from a traumatic injury. Once the cartilage is damaged, it continues to deteriorate. Athletes with progressive osteoarthritis are often forced to stop playing their sport of choice.

Over the years, researchers have developed a number of procedures for repairing cartilage in patients who range from roughly 16 to 50 years of age. The current standard of care is microfracture, an arthroscopic procedure that involves using a tiny pick to punch holes into the base of the damaged cartilage area. This promotes bleeding and allows bone marrow cells to come to the surface of the damaged tiss
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Contact: Phyllis Fisher
phyllis.fisher@gmail.com
212-606-1724
Hospital for Special Surgery
Source:Eurekalert

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