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Author Topic: Donor Site Issues - OATS  (Read 5601 times)

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Offline emelle

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Donor Site Issues - OATS
« on: July 04, 2009, 02:23:27 AM »
Has anyone had donor site issues following an OATS (autograft) procedure?  I had an OATS to my lateral femoral condyle about 10 weeks ago, with donor plugs harvested from the lateral trochlear groove.  There is quite a bit of grinding and catching at the donor site.  I realize it's early in my rehab and these symptoms may reduce as the swelling does, but I'm curious to hear people's stories and how they dealt with this sort of thing.

Thanks!!

Offline gfighter

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Re: Donor Site Issues - OATS
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2009, 08:32:10 PM »
Mine's been about 10 weeks also. I had some initial pain in the donor area when I started to work my muscles, and some swelling. I found massaging jointace gel into helped and just working the leg getting things moving again. I dont feel any pain now, but it was painful to prod also. Do you feel any pain or discomfort where the plugs went in? I do, but I'm just accounting it to putting a few pounds on with no exercise and having no quad muscles left.  :(

Offline emelle

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Re: Donor Site Issues - OATS
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2009, 09:27:30 AM »
Glad to hear that things got better for you as the knee got moving.  I only have pain where the plugs went in if I walk too far or stand too long.  If I take it easy, no pain there.  This phase seems to be tricky - do too much and the knee hurts/swells, don't do enough and things don't progress! 

Offline gfighter

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Re: Donor Site Issues - OATS
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2009, 12:07:04 PM »
I was feeling that too. I mostly pain free now and mobility and strength are returning well. Balance still needs some work. Main thing for now is muscle mass and strength. The area where the insertion and incision was still can feel a little warm so I ice it occassionally. Just trying to gang in there and hope all is fixed for good.

Offline emelle

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Re: Donor Site Issues - OATS
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2010, 11:28:46 PM »
I figure I should post a follow-up here for anyone considering an OATS surgery (autograft).  My donor site issues have continued and after an MRI the problem has been determined:  the donor site did not fully fill in with fibrocartilage and bone as expected.  It seems that two 10mm plugs was too much to take out of a small knee (I'm a 5'5", 120lb woman). 

What to do in my case now is not clear, but I thought I should share this in case someone is considering whether to use an autograft or allograft.  The stature of the person is something to keep in mind since the standard of what is an acceptable amount to take from one's own body is probably different for a smaller or larger person. 


Offline ski-bum

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Re: Donor Site Issues - OATS
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2010, 03:30:02 AM »
Thanks so much for your follow-up posts.  Do you know if your surgeon filled in the donor sites with anything?  I may be having a OATS autograft with a single plug and my Surgeon uses a OBI truefit plug to backfill the donor site...said is significantly reduces the risk of donor site issues. 

Worried nontheless...

Thanks
Marc
1995-ACL Repair Left Knee
2007-Partial Meniscectomy Left Knee
2009 (April)- Microfracture Medial Femoral Condyle Left Knee

Offline lostandhopeles

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Re: Donor Site Issues - OATS
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2010, 03:53:29 AM »
I had oats on May 15 2009, There were 2 plugs. The surgeon took the two pieces from where the cartillage was bad and installed it where the doner plugs were taken from. I was told this was to streghten the donor location.
 I had a problem with clicking. The P/T thought the knee was tracking bad. She tried to do some tapeing to no avail. We played a quessing game for almost 6 months. When I had an MRI at 6 months it was clear to the surgeon. The 2 plugs took so well and grew so well they were now higher than the cartilage. The o/S said that it was not a big problem if I could live with it that would be best. If it was a problem for me he would need to do a scope and trim it. BUT only if I thought it was needed. He said that I have had 3 surgeries in 15 months on the knee and it would be better to leave it alone for now.

Offline emelle

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Re: Donor Site Issues - OATS
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2010, 09:47:43 AM »
My donor sites were also filled, but with something called DBM Plus bone putty.  My body was supposed to fill in bone/fibrocartilage around this scaffolding.  In my case the issue seems to be that the plugs taken were just too big for someone my size.  My doctor said he has seen a number of cases in which the donor site overfills (called hypertrophy) and sometimes the excess has to be smoothed down, but he's never seen it underfill as it did with me.  I consulted another doctor who felt that donor site issues are more common than the statistics usually cited and the size of the plug is really important to consider.

Another thing to consider is personal anatomy.  I have a lateral tilt of my patella and compression on that side, which happens to be directly over the donor site.  This may have influenced the outcome. 

On another note, the healing from an OATS surgery really does take a long time.  I'm 11 months out from surgery and still notice significant improvements, not with the donor site unfortunately, but with the rest of the knee and the general recovery. 

Good luck! 















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