Osteochondral Autograft Transfer System (OATS)

A cartilage defect in a high weight bearing area is replaced by a cartilage bone plug from a lower weight bearing area within the knee joint.

Cartilage is transferred from a healthy, non-weight bearing area of the knee to the damaged area. OATS is typically recommended for individuals under the age of 50 and without extensive cartilage damage throughout the knee. The procedure itself commences with an arthroscopic examination in the operating room to examine the cartilage defect and transfer area closely. 

Once confirmed the transfer is appropriate, an incision is made to expose the area of damage. 

Next, the damaged area is prepared and precisely sized. A tool is used to core out a cartilage plug of the precise size in the area of healthy, non-weight bearing transfer site. This cartilage is then transferred into the prepared area of cartilage damage. Recovery is closely guided, and physical therapy begins in the days following surgery. Physical therapy begins immediately to assist with edema control, to reduce quadriceps atrophy and promote range of motion.