Osteoarticular cartilage, a remarkable tissue within our joints, constantly faces stress and is susceptible to traumatic injuries or degenerative conditions, particularly in weight-bearing joints like the knee. When individuals, whether teenagers, young adults, or middle-aged adults, develop localized full-thickness cartilage or cartilage and bone defects, this essentially mirrors a localized form of osteoarthritis.
For patients with substantial defects, especially those involving bone, a highly effective treatment for cartilage deficiency is the utilization of fresh osteoarticular allografts. These allografts are sourced from young donors with knee sizes matching the affected patient. Our findings show that fresh osteoarticular allografts have led to significant functional and clinical enhancements, with outcomes similar to historical reports from other centers for patients treated with such implants, after an average follow-up of three years.
It's crucial to perform a thorough assessment to determine whether a patient is a suitable candidate for this surgery. While it may not constitute an arthritis cure, many patients experience significant improvements in their quality of life for a decade or more post-surgery. Essentially, this procedure offers a "biologic resurfacing" and it's essential to understand that not all patients can resume full-impact activities following the surgery.