Dale Says

June 12, 2007

Under the knife

Filed under: Knee Surgery — Dale @ 11:13 am

The phone finally rang, and I’m scheduled to have knee surgery tomorrow (Wednesday, June 13).

The procedure will be an allograft OATS, a surgical transplant of good cartilage from a cadaver knee into my right knee, which has lost cartilage from osteoarthritis.

During the surgery, my knee will be opened up to expose the affected area. Measurements will be taken of the damaged areas of the knee to confirm the size and extent of the lesions. Once the appropriate size is determined, a cylinder-shaped dowel of bone and cartilage will be removed from my knee, and replaced by the same size dowel of bone plus cartilage from the cadaver knee. In my case, this will likely involve several dowels, since the inside of my knee is missing most of the meniscus cartilage. Once the “plugs” are inserted, my knee will be closed.

Dr. King will also perform an osteotomy, which is a realignment procedure that unloads the vulnerable or arthritic side of my right knee and puts more weight on the outside of my knee (which still has good cartilage). The osteotomy will be done by wedging open the tibia (shin bone) and adding bone graft putty to create new bone growth into the wedged area.

I expect to be in recovery for four to six weeks; in bed for a week, then on physical therapy and crutches for around a month.

Following is a link to an excellent description of the allograft OATS procedure, with images that help explain it. It was developed by Dr. King, who will perform my surgery.

http://www.pamf.org/sports/king/osteoarthritis.html

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