OATS – A Knee Cartilage Replacement Option
OATS (Osteochondral Autograft Transfer System) cartilage repair surgery, also called mosaicplasty, is a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed to repair damaged cartilage. This is accomplished by removing damaged cartilage and replacing it with a graft harvested from the patient’s own healthy hyaline cartilage. This procedure is performed as minimally invasively as possible, using small instruments and tools through incisions on the sides of the knee. A very small video camera called an arthroscope is inserted into the joint and used to see inside the joint and provide image guidance during the procedure.
OATS is not recommended for everyone. OATS is typically used for younger patients (under 50) with minimal cartilage damage, usually as a result of trauma, with available healthy cartilage for transfer.
Rehabilitation is important in ensuring the procedure’s success after the surgery. Crutches may be needed for up to two months after surgery. Physical therapy and exercise will be prescribed in order to help return normal weight bearing and motion range.