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Cartilage Transplant Procedure Increases Chances of Return to Sport
February 2012: An innovative new procedure that replaces areas of damaged cartilage with healthy tissue has led to a 50 per cent rise in patients returning to sport, new research reveals.
The ground-breaking operation, called osteoarticular cartilage transplantation (OATS), involves a plug of healthy cartilage tissue being taken from one part of a patient's knee and transferred to the damaged area during keyhole surgery
Researchers at New York's Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) analysed 96 patients with knee cartilage defects and found that over 90 per cent of patients, who underwent OATS, were able to return to playing sport, compared to just 40 per cent who received standard care, called microfracture.
Half of the patients underwent OATS while the other half underwent microfracture, before being assessed at one, two, three and five years.
Senior investigator Dr Riley Williams, a sports medicine orthopaedic surgeon at HSS, revealed: "Studies have shown that there is only about a 40 per cent return to sport after the microfracture procedure. Over 90 per cent of patients return to sport with the OATS procedure.
"For those who have isolated cartilage lesions of the femur and are interested in a return to sport in a timely and predictable fashion, the OATS procedure, relative to microfracture, represents a better option."
Microfracture involves making small holes in the base of the damaged cartilage area to promote bleeding and encourage bone marrow cells to come to the area and heal the defect.
The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
A spokesperson for Arthritis Ireland said: "Surgical procedures in this area are constantly improving and this study suggests that this latest innovation is having a significant positive impact on patient outcomes. Although a decision to undergo a procedure of this nature should never be taken lightly, the results for these surgeries are generally very positive and can dramatically improve the patient's quality of life.”
Arthritis affects 1 in 5 people in Ireland – 915,000 people nationwide. There are over 100 different types of arthritis and these can affect people of all ages from babies and toddlers right through to those in their adult years. 60% of people with arthritis are aged under 65 years old.
About Arthritis Ireland:
Little things can make a big difference to a person with arthritis. Difficulty with the little things like making a cup of tea, getting dressed or opening the front door can all add up to have a big impact on a person’s quality of life. At Arthritis Ireland we understand this. That is why we are Ireland’s only organisation working single-mindedly to transform the experience of people living with arthritis and those who care for them. Every day, we work in communities across the country providing community based education programmes to help people effectively manage and control this devastating disease. We actively drive grassroots advocacy so that the voice of people with arthritis is heard and understood and we work with the medical community to control and cure arthritis.
For further information please contact:
Communications Manager Arthritis Ireland
Ph: 01-6470203 or 086 7952034
Communications Executive Arthritis Ireland
Ph: 01-6470203 or 087 6245865
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