Knee joint preservation and cartilage restoration offers the most recent treatment options for knee pain. These surgical options include the latest minimally invasive procedures. Many of these procedures are performed arthroscopically using a small camera placed through tiny incisions. In most cases, patients can return home on the same day as the surgery or, in some cases, only stay in the hospital overnight. In some cases, these procedures can reduce or prevent the onset or progression of arthritis and prolong the life of the knee joint. In turn, this may reduce the risk of needing a joint replacement. Dr. Maak specializes in innovative methods for restoring damaged cartilage that are available only in a small number of centers in the United States.
Osteochondral Autograft Transplant (OATS)
OATS stands for “osteochondral autograft transfer system”. It is one of two types of cartilage transfer procedures; the other is called “Mosaicplasty”. Cartilage transfer procedures involve moving healthy cartilage from an area of the knee that is non-weight bearing to a damaged cartilage area of the knee.
Osteochondral Allograft Transplantation
Osteochondral allograft is one of the cartilage grafting techniques indicated in patients with articular cartilage damage in the knee to restore normal functioning of the joint. Cartilage grafting is a surgical procedure to replace the damaged cartilage with healthy cartilage taken from a donor or from the same patient harvested at the site that takes less weight of the body.
Microfracture is a surgical technique used to repair articular cartilage damage in the knee called chondral defects. Articular cartilage is a complex avascular (no blood supply) tissue which consists of cells called chondrocytes suspended in a collagenous matrix. It appears as a smooth, shiny, white tissue at the ends of the bones which come in contact with each other to form a joint.
Meniscal Allograft Transplantation
The meniscus, a C-shaped cartilage in the knee joint has several important functions such as providing stability and nutrition to the knee joint, shock absorption and protection of the articular cartilage. The meniscus may tear due to injury or trauma and needs to be repaired. The repair is essential in order to preserve the properties and the functions of the knee. Allograft meniscus transplantation is one of the surgical techniques to repair the torn meniscus.
It is usually performed in arthritic conditions affecting only one side of your knee and the aim is to take pressure off the damaged area and shift it to the other side of your knee with healthy cartilage. During the surgery, your surgeon will remove or add a wedge of bone either below or above the knee joint depending on the site of arthritic damage.
Cartilage Cell Transplantation (DeNovo/Biocartilage/ACI)
The articular surfaces of the body’s joints are lined by hyaline cartilage, a smooth tissue that serves as a shock absorber and allows easy movement of the bones within the joint. Normal wear-and-tear or injury can damage and cause defects in the cartilage, resulting in irregular articular surfaces that interfere with movement, causing pain, swelling and disability.