Researchers develop improved method of repairing cartilage
A team of scientists at the Hospital for Special Surgery recently developed a technique to help athletes who experience cartilage damage. They reported that their new method helped 90 percent of patients get back on the field following a femur injury.
Authors of the study explained that their surgery – called osteoarticular cartilage transplantation (OATS) – consists of grafting healthy cartilage and bone into a damaged joint through a minimally invasive procedure called arthroscopy.
“For those who have isolated cartilage lesions of the femur and are interested in a return to sport in a timely and predictable fashion, the OATS procedure, relative to microfracture, represents a better option,” said senior investigator Riley J. Williams, III, M.D.
The researchers did not test their method on people with bunions or hammer toe. However, these foot conditions are characterized by the deterioration of cartilage in the toe joints. So, it may be feasible for this method to work to correct bony deformities in the future.