The OSTEOARTHRITIS DEPARTMENT => KNEE ARTHRITIS - Articular cartilage repair => CARTILAGE REPAIR - Osteochondral autografts and allografts (eg OATS & mosaicplasty) => Topic started by: John SCB on April 07, 2008, 08:57:58 PM

Title: Post OAT story, 5 years later.
Post by: John SCB on April 07, 2008, 08:57:58 PM
I haven't visited this site for a while and thought someone may benefit from hearing how OATS worked (or didn't work) in my particular case. It was Feb of 2003, I was 45 at the time and had allograft transplants done on weight bearing surfaces of the R/medial femoral condyle and tibial plateau. The largest lesions measured 25-28 mm.

Along with doing the grafts, the ortho also did an osteotomy to move some of the weight bearing surface over to the lateral side. The recovery time was 6 months. I was able to return to my normal routine but the pain was never completely eliminated. There were good and bad days. About 2 years later, the joint became progressively better at and I was able to resume my favourite sports of surfing and skiing.

In Feb 2007, (while simply walking down some stairs) the knee went out from under me and I could tell something was amiss in the joint even though there was no trauma inflicted. X-rays and MRI showed "loose bodies" within the knee and arthroscopic surgery was done in late March 07.

The allografts had failed, requiring the surgeon to remove all the dead bits of bone and cartilage. In the end, he could only clean up the joint and remind me that a TKR would be the only way to take care of the problem for good. OA has established itself in a big way, thus making the joint stiff and/or painfull most of the time.

It's been a year since the last surgery and the knee still holds me up but gives me trouble nearly every day...I just try to ignore the pain, take a few Ibuprohen and get on with life. Sorry to say my skiing days are over but did manage to get out surfing a few months problem on that day!

So, would I recommend the surgery to anyone? Yes. The procedure has allowed me to avoid a TKR at a relatively young age. Call it bad luck that my grafts didn't hold forever. I will wait and see how long my "original equipment" can go before going all the way with a replacement.

Good luck to all,

Title: Re: Post OAT story, 5 years later.
Post by: lis1 on April 23, 2008, 09:39:40 AM

Thanks for sharing your story.  I feel that it is important to know the good and the bad as i have said in another post elsewhere on the site.  I found it interesting that although it didn't/ hasn't or did but has now failed work for you that you would still do it.

Mine is a little while away but i will be honest when i share what happens etc.  My OS has quite a conservative approach to rehab and i will be NWB for 5/6 weeks a prospect that i am not looking forward to, and being from the UK it's elbow crutches, i also live alone in a one bedroom flat with a flight of stairs to get in and out - could be fun!!

Would be interested in hearing about your rehab after, and how lone it was before your symptoms returned etc if you get time to share.

Title: Re: Post OAT story, 5 years later.
Post by: John SCB on April 26, 2008, 10:07:28 PM

Glad to see this info may be of some help to you with your pending surgery.

To answer your question about post-op recovery, my OS wanted me to stay off the leg for 8 weeks. That turned into 3 months. Then it took another 3 months before I could return to work (my job requires me to walk about 3-5 miles a day). During the total 6 month recovery, I had thrice weekly PT sessions that definately helped with mobility and proper healing. There was some kind of pain for at least a year after the operation. I was able to ski again about two years after the surgery.

As you may have seen with many posters on this board, there will be "good days and bad days" in the post-op process. So, here I am 5 years later....the knee still hurts but not as badly as before the surgery. I will probably go with a TKR in the next 3 to 5 years (hopefully, I can wait that long).

Best of luck in your journey to recovery!

Title: Re: Post OAT story, 5 years later.
Post by: thevoice on September 23, 2008, 06:13:53 PM
IS ACI or MACI out of the question to try? also reserch is ongoing using stem cells to regrow cartlidge.