Osteochondral autograft transfer (OATS)

What is the osteochondral autograft transfer (OATS)?

Like osteochondral autograft implantation, this procedure is designed to replace the damaged articular cartilage that lines the ends of bones within a joint. However, instead of using cartilage from a deceased donor, the surgeon uses cartilage from an undamaged area of your joint to replace the damaged cartilage. As a result, this procedure is typically only used when the damage occurs in an area 10 to 20 mm in size.

How is OATS surgery performed?

OATS surgery is performed using arthroscopic techniques, where small incisions are made around the joint and special instruments are used to harvest healthy cartilage and replace the worn cartilage during the same procedure.

Is OATS surgery covered by insurance?

When osteochondral autograft transfer surgery 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 after OATS surgery?

You will likely need crutches for a period of 6 to 8 weeks after your surgery. Once healed, you will be able to return to a high level of activity.

Are there any side effects to OATS surgery?

This type of surgery is generally very safe, but as with any surgical procedure, there is a small chance of complications, which can include infection, blood clots, bleeding, nerve or blood vessel damage and an allergic reaction to anesthesia.

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

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