OCA Transplantation Effective in Knee Cartilage Injuries in Active Individuals

    For athletes and highly active patients who sustain cartilage injuries to their knee, an osteochondral allograft transplantation can be a successful treatment option, according to research presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s recent Annual Meeting in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

    The study, from Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California, showed these patients were consistently able to return to sport or recreational activities after the surgery, though frequently at a lower activity level.

    “We examined the success of osteochondral allograft (OCA) transplantation in 149 knees, and found 113, or 76% of those treated with the surgery, had returned to activity at an average follow-up of 6 years,” said lead author William Bugbee, MD.

    “Patients who are highly active can be discouraged by these types of injuries, so we are happy to see the success of this treatment option.”

    In this study, the average age of patients was 31 years old, with 59% being male. While the study showed positive statistics relating to general return to activity, only 28% returned at the same level pre-injury, and 48% returned to 1 or more but not all of the same sports and activities.

    “We also saw an overall 90% survivorship of the transplanted grafts at a 6-year follow-up,” Dr. Bugbee said. “This presents further evidence that the procedure, especially in those individuals who are highly active, can be positive for recovery and future athletic goals.”

    This study adds to previous research which shows long-term functional improvement in knees after OCA transplant.