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knee cartilage surgery

Dr. Clayton Nuelle on Cartilage Injuries of the Knee (Part II)

In Part 1, we mentioned that a cartilage injury of the knee is one that has historically lacked treatment options. Due to the lack of capacity for self-repair, many cartilage injuries may go on to require surgical treatment; however, there are numerous factors affecting the potential for a successful outcome.

One of these factors is age. Many studies indicate that with pediatric and adolescent patients the results of procedures like Osteochondral Allograft Transplantation are incredibly successful. Everything from the graft survivorship rate, salvage surgery success rate, post-op knee rating, and satisfaction scores are all off the charts (88-90% rate). When it comes to younger athletes, the duration of the treatment and the time to full recovery are essential.

The lesion size, location, as well as presence of underlying bone loss are also important aspects to consider when selecting the optimal surgical treatment. According to Dr. Nuelle, the presence of absence of underlying subchondral bone, necessary to support grafts such as MACI, is crucial when it comes to determining the correct graft to use. Here, the guest speaker also talks about an effective (albeit less known) treatment method known as the sandwich technique (where two grafts are used on top of each other).

In today’s episode, OINJ’s Dr. Ashley Bassett and her Sports Docs co-host Dr. Catherine Logan, along with a special guest, Dr. Clayton Nuelle, tackle all of these issues and more.

This article was reviewed and approved by an orthopedic surgeon as we place a high premium on accuracy for our patients and potential patients.