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

ue. As a result, the cells then change into fibrocartilage cells and heal the defect. A study from the HSS Cartilage Registry showed that only about 40% of athletes return to sport after this procedure. "40% is such an abysmal rate of return to sport, which is why we keep looking for other repair methods to help our patients," said Dr. Williams, who is also director of the HSS Institute for Cartilage Repair.

Another more recently developed procedure is OATS, which involves transferring healthy cartilage tissue from one part of a person's knee to the damaged area. The transplanted graft includes cartilage and underlying bone and can be performed arthroscopically. A single plug of cartilage may be transferred or multiple plugs may be transferred in a procedure called mosaicplasty. Each plug is a few millimeters in diameter, and when multiple plugs are moved to the damaged area, it creates a mosaic appearance.

Several European studies have shown that the OATS procedure provides a higher return to sport and a longer lasting result, but HSS researchers wanted to verify the results in the U.S. population. "There is an essential difference between American sports and European sports. When you talk about European sports, you are really talking about soccer," said Dr. Williams, whereas most U.S. patients mostly participate in American football, basketball, running, as well as soccer.

To test the two procedures in the U.S. population, HSS investigators recruited 48 patients who had "potholes" in their cartilage in the area known as the femoral condyle, an area located at the end of the thighbone in the upper half of the knee. For the control group, the researchers identified 48 patients in the HSS Cartilage Registry who were matched for gender and underwent microfracture for a similar cartilage repair, same lesion size and location.

Clinicians evaluated patients prior to surgery and at one, two, three and five years of follow-up. They used
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Contact: Phyllis Fisher
phyllis.fisher@gmail.com
212-606-1724
Hospital for Special Surgery
Source:Eurekalert

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