exercise after OATS

O.A.T.S. procedure, mosaicplasty
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nicolek
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exercise after OATS

Post by nicolek »

Hi everyone, I am looking for some advice or shared experience. I had an OATS procedure about 10 months ago. I had a 1cm defect filled on the medial chondyle, and things are going well so far. My doctor is Dr. Brian Cole at Rush Orthopaedics, and at his suggestion, I have begun testing my knee alittle bit more with jogging (i've jogged a couple times for about 4 or 5 mins on the treadmill, and once outise for about 8 mins). I also played tennis the other day and threw the frisbee around (which required some sprinting). While, all of the activities feel worlds better than they would have 10 months ago (in fact they wouldn't have been possible), there is still some pain. However, there has been alittle pain with every new weight bearing movement i have attempted (like walking and stairs, or single knee bends) that has gradually gone away for the most part. First Question: I was wondering if anyone has had this same experience with higher impact activiteis and if the pain eventually went away? Second Question: Dr. Cole has told me on more than one occassion that I am not hurting the graft by doing these activities. However, when I don't do much actvity the knee feels better. But my real concern is that, since I am only 26, what will my knee be like in 30 yrs, and are things like occasional running or sports not a good idea. It seems counterintuitive, that something that hurts is not damaging, but Dr. Cole has told me its fine. So my question is.. has anyone resumed sports and high impact activities, and what were the long term affects of "pushing it?" My third question: If I were to resume regular activity, and the graft eventually wore down, what is my next option? Has anyone been in that situation? Dr. Cole mentioned that he would use donor cartilage if this graft ever failed. My fourth question: has anyone ever had ACI after OATS (just out of curiosity, is it possible)? Thanks so much for any advice or shared experience. Being so young, I really want to weigh the pros and cons of resuming my old activities. I really appreciate everyone's time! thanks,

Nicole
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John_SCB
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Re: exercise after OATS

Post by John_SCB »

Your doctor knows you and your limitations best. However, I totally understand your concerns and the need to ask all the questions. I had OATS done on femur medial and tibia plateau at age 45...big defects; 1 inch across by 22mm deep in the femur. Now, your questions:
.
First Question: I was wondering if anyone has had this same experience with higher impact activiteis and if the pain eventually went away?
First Answer: I was surprised at how long it took for the pain to subside after impact activities. No jogging but lots of walking....it was almost 18 months (after surgery) till the pain diminished considerably. Got back on skiis about 2 years after surgery. Did okay.
.
Second Question: Dr. Cole has told me on more than one occassion that I am not hurting the graft by doing these activities. However, when I don't do much actvity the knee feels better. But my real concern is that, since I am only 26, what will my knee be like in 30 yrs.
Second Answer: Your doctor know you best. Mine felt better when going easy on it too. In 30 years, who knows? Possibly a TKR or advanced surgery/treatment will help alot. Either way, knee pain will probably be an issue to deal with later in life.
.
My third question: If I were to resume regular activity, and the graft eventually wore down, what is my next option? Has anyone been in that situation? Dr. Cole mentioned that he would use donor cartilage if this graft ever failed.
Third answer: It sounds like your doctor is telling you straight. I never had autographs (defects were too large) and did donor allographs from the start. Sad thing was they eventually failed after 4 years. Just walking down some stairs and it tweaked...discovered the graphs had failed/come out. Had arthoscopic to remove the broken bits and debrided gently. That was about a year ago...things better but arthritis pain/stiffness is felt most every day. You learn to deal with it.
.
That's about it for my experiences compared to yours...best of luck!
:)
1986 Skiiing in Aspen, MCL partial tear R/knee, diagnosed with OCD, both knees.
2002 OCD defects occur R/knee, arthroscopic surgery.
2003 OATS and OO on R/knee, 6 months to recover...all okay.
2007 R/Knee strain...here we go again.
2007 arthroscopic surgery...remove the bits and pieces.
akirka
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Re: exercise after OATS

Post by akirka »

I had OATS surgery 5 months ago - a plug was taken from my knee to fill a defect in my ankle (talus). I'm at the point now where my knee feels good and my ankle alot better. But there's that paranoia that I might do something to make the plugs fail. John, how did you plugs fail after 4 years? You would think if they grew and incorporate into your bone at first, they would stay healthy. How does that happen? I've been instructed no running or high impact until 6 mos. I've been doing yardwork and taking walks, biking. Walking downhill seems to irritate the graft area so I've stopped doing that. It's hard to know the balance between good pain (getting in shape) and pain that might be compromising the surgery. The hard thing is that they haven't really approved ankle replacements in the US so it's not as easy as the TKR if things fail. So, I will take it easy. I do dream of someday running again!
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JulieRose6
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Re: exercise after OATS

Post by JulieRose6 »

Akirka,

I heard that the cartilage can last 5 years before you have to get it replaced if needs be. Your cartilage could always die, I know that my surgeon checks for that every time I get a check up. You had the surgery 5 months ago? I did too, Did you get any cyst on your knee from you bone forming together? I got one and I think that I am like the only one. Well I am glad you get to exercise I am walking more and stuff like that. Do you have full flexibility? I have almost all the way just that last few is the hardest.

julz
Arthoscopic (3/2002)
Fulkerson/Lateral Release/Arthoscopic (12/2002)
Arthoscopic/ Screw Removal (10/2003)
Arthoscopic (12/2006)
Oats Procedure (3/2008)
Partial Knee Replacement (11/09)
Partial Knee Replacement (6/10)
Vjanosick
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Re: exercise after OATS

Post by Vjanosick »

Hello, I just had my OATS procedure done 9 months ago. I am curious to see how you have done this far. I thought I had been doing well. I exercise daily nothing too crazy: elliptical, stair stepper, treadmill. I have done extremely well but noticed after some PT exercises I haven’t done in a while my pain came back. Not really lots of swelling just pain. It’s frustrating but I see my surgeon in 3 days for a follow up and I’m curious to see what he says. I hope you are doing well and have good news. A fellow OATS procedure patient.
Randdy27
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Re: exercise after OATS

Post by Randdy27 »

Regarding your first question, many individuals have reported experiencing temporary pain or discomfort when returning to higher impact activities after procedures like OATS. With time and continued rehabilitation, this pain often diminishes as the body adjusts and strengthens. However, it's essential to listen to your body and not push through excessive pain, as this could potentially indicate issues that need to be addressed.

Regarding your concerns about the long-term effects of resuming sports and high-impact activities, it's essential to have open and honest discussions with your doctor, like Dr. Cole, about your goals and concerns. While it may seem counterintuitive, as long as you're not experiencing significant pain or causing damage to the graft, moderate participation in activities like running or sports may be manageable and beneficial for your overall health and well-being.

In the event that your graft were to wear down over time, it's reassuring to know that there are potential options available, such as using donor cartilage. However, it's essential to continue monitoring your knee and communicating with your healthcare team to ensure that any changes or developments are addressed promptly and effectively.
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Re: exercise after OATS

Post by jgardner »

Hey Vjanosick,

In Dec. 2020 I had OATS (allograft) to fill one cartilage defect and mosaicplasty (autograft) to fill another in my right knee. I had a rough time with the recovery and I don't think I'll ever be close to "normal"...but I've gradually made my way back to my sport (ultramarathoning). I'm currently running 45 to 50 miles per week and ramping up for a very long race in the summer. After undergoing a second procedure (synovectomy/patellar release/fat pad resection) I started a surgery diary on this forum, which you can check out if you'd like to read the details.

The one point I'd leave you with is that there still can be significant improvement after 9 months. You'll improve on the specific movements you work in rehab/physical therapy. I still feel like I am improving in some ways over 3 years after the initial surgery.

I hope you continue to improve and get back to doing all the activities you want to do. Good luck!
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