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Author Topic: Recovery from OATS -18/01/12  (Read 1788 times)

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Offline Mlightfoot

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Recovery from OATS -18/01/12
« on: January 21, 2012, 11:01:38 AM »
I thought I'd write up some recovery notes following my OATS procedure on the 18th Jan 2012.

Surgeon - Mr V Bobic
Location - Chester, UK
Hospital - Nuffield, Chester.

By way of background I've had 3 knee operations on my right knee so far, I'm 40yo relatively fit and used to run a lot.  My operations so far have been two arthroscopies for medial meniscus tears and one microfracture on a 15mm articular defect in the medial femoral chrondyle. The microfracture was back in 2009 and whilst I've cycled perfectly well since, I've never been able to run or play significantly with my two young boys.  So before Christmas 2011 I visited Vladimir Bobic a knee surgeon in Chester.  He is responsible for pioneering the design of OATS instruments used by Arthrex Corp for most OATS procedures and is a regular speaker on articular cartilage defects.  I found him much more pragmatic than my previous surgeons and well aware of the failings and short-comings of microfracture procedures.  He explained OATS in much detail and assured me, contrary to virtually any other post on here, that I would be weight-bearing from day1 due to the push-fit nature of his procedures and location of the donor site.  I was still rather concerned by the fact this differs to virtually any other publication I can find on the web - although I also think that this site if remarkably poorly moderated and ONLY covers negative rehabs and very rarely covers success or patients who have gone on to full and complete rehab.

So I had my operation last Wednesday and from awakening I've been weight-bearing with little or no medial pain.  Of course I'm taking it easy and I'm also aware I won't know for sure if this operation has been a success for many months.  A cryo-cuff is essential in my opinion and works a dream in reducing swelling.  However what has struck me from this operation is because of the push-fit nature of his work I'm walking on a surface that doesn't need as much protection as other procedures like microfracture etc.  Worth also noting that whilst my MRI showed microfracture success, when Mr Bobic performed my OATS, the microfractured location was very poorly integrated and the area was loose and flapping around - not picked up on MRI!

So I'll continue to keep this board updated on my progress it so far so good - here's hoping!!

I've found more that specifically relates to my surgeon's approach:
http://www.isakos.com/innovations/oats2.aspx

So a bit more info on my recovery:

Day4 - walking light-touch without crutches, knee flexing to about 75-85 degrees, little pain relief now required othe than some declofenac.  Effusion is reducing quite fast and knee-cap outline is appearing slowly. Some pain around both sites but mechanically it already feels more structured than pre-op.

Day5 - If I wasn't married, I'd marry my surgeon!  I've never felt this good post-op.  Little or no pain in medial femoral chrondyle area, been off painkillers for 12 hours. Woke this morning to a generally flexible knee, not typical post-op stiffness on waking.  I'm walking around home, obviously not going far, without crutches and doing my rehab exercises.  I can bend to about 90 degrees now and know the scarring is now the boundary and tightness for further flexion.  Obviously I have no idea if this procedure is going to work long-term but so far it feels the way my knee felt in 2006 before I let anyone mess with it and that is what I've said I've wanted for the last 6 years;)  A long time to be back where I started but at least I could run then and do as much exercise as I ever wanted to.  It's no ALL perfect I've had a couple of pseudo "locks" when attempting to bend the knee and straighten, but this is fairly typical this soon after surgery.  I'm taking it easy and enjoying the fact I now have little swelling and pain 5 days after a pretty intense procedure!

Day6 - back to work today, slight relapsed in a hot and tired knee by 3pm, but no marble change in effusion.  Occasional accident up and down stairs in forgetting I can't just yet, but all pointing to good recovery.  Agin no painkillers today but lumped full of glucosamine, condroitin, rose hip and msm.continuing to use the cryo cuff and never want to give this device back - EVER!  Mechanically I have little pain in the medial femoral chrondyle location and no obvious patella catching in diner area but expect that to appear once the swelling subsides and the patella resumes its normal tracking.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 11:30:21 PM by Mlightfoot »
2x arthroscopy medial meniscus
1x microfracture medial femoral chrondyle
1x OATS 18th Jan 2012

Offline Staff40

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Re: Recovery from OATS -18/01/12
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2012, 05:38:05 PM »
I had OATS the same day in Philadelphia, Pa.  1st Knee surgery.  I'm 31 and was in good shape.  How is your recovery going?  I'm 3 weeks into rehab.  Struggling with range of motion still.  No real pain, except at rehab.  Are you having similar experiences?

Offline esther_bunny

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Re: Recovery from OATS -18/01/12
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2012, 12:52:54 AM »
I had the OATS done along with a PKR and the OATS part seems to be a breeze. Occasionally get pain if I overwork my knee but icing cures that. I didn't even know I needed it until my surgeon got in to do the PKR.
I had never even heard of it, but I'm sure there are many medical things I've never heard of.

Would definitely recommend the OATS to anyone that needs it.

Offline Mlightfoot

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Re: Recovery from OATS -18/01/12
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2012, 07:22:35 PM »
Sorry for the delays in posting and not replying.  Well it's nearly 8 weeks since my operation, swelling done, had as light stitch abscess which caused a bit of annoyance but went pretty quickly with antis.mechanically I feel great other than my bloody knee cap catching quite a bit, but surgeon said this is to be expected with OATs.  The area that's been fixed is not causing any pain whatsoever. I'm cycling again on both stationary and road bike, did 15 miles yesterday, no reaction this morning, just a slight bit stiff but so much better than after micro-surgery.  Feel like the joint would take running but I know my muscle is not back up yet, especially VMO so taking it easy and want to ensure the joint is well supported before I try proper running, but playing with kids in the garden and stuff so happy days.

I don't have any real advice and this patella catching/clicking could become a real problem, but so far I think it's helped massively to be a good lite weight for my build, keep fit pre and post op, lots of rose-hip, glucosamine and msm and listen to what it's telling you, but also push the muscle workto fatigue.

Nearly forgot to say rom is now exactly the same as left knee:)

2x arthroscopy medial meniscus
1x microfracture medial femoral chrondyle
1x OATS 18th Jan 2012