Osteochondral Allograft Implantation

What is osteochondral allograft implantation?

Also known as osteochondral allograft transplantation, this procedure uses cartilage from a deceased donor to replace the damaged cartilage that lines the ends of bones within a joint (articular cartilage). It is an excellent option for younger, symptomatic patients with defects larger than 3 cm. It can also be used in patients who have had previous failed cartilage procedures. The grafts last for at least 10 years, and in many cases last more than 20 years.

Osteochondral allograft implantation

How is osteochondral allograft implantation surgery performed?

The surgeon makes an incision over the knee and identifies the defect. When the size of the affected cartilage has been measured, the diseased cartilage is removed and replaced with fresh donor cartilage.

Is this procedure covered by insurance?

When osteochondral allograft implantation is considered medically necessary for treating defects within the knee, it is covered by some private insurance plans but not all. Medicare does not cover this procedure.

How quickly can I get back to my regular routine?

You may need to wear a brace for the first 2 weeks after the surgery. You will use crutches and avoid weight-bearing for 6-8 weeks. You will undertake physical therapy and may be able to fully return to all of your activities between 6 and 12 months after your surgery.

Are there any side effects to osteochondral allograft implantation surgery?

Osteochondral allografts are associated with a higher risk of immune-mediated graft rejection and disease transmission from the deceased donor. Complications such as infection, blood clots and swelling are possible but rare.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact West Coast Orthopedics today.

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