July 2018

Older Patients with Knee Pain Benefit from Allograft Transplant Technique

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Knee pain in active patients over 40 is often difficult to treat but utilizing a special kind of allograft may be a step in the right direction, according to research from Katlyn Robinson, BS and colleagues in a paper titled, “Efficacy of Osteochondral Allograft Transplantation in the Knee in Adults Forty Years and Older.”

“Our findings note that patients older than 40 may benefit from using a fresh osteochondral allograft transplantation to treat focal cartilage defects, a common cause of knee pain in adults,” said senior author, Dennis Crawford, MD, PhD from the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon.

Crawford and his colleagues looked at a total of 80 patients broken into two groups. The study group consisted of 38 patients, 10 women and 28 men who were at least 40 years of age and a control group with 42 patients (27 men and 15 women) who were 39 years of age or younger. A statistically significant improvement for both groups was noted for the final follow-up for IKDC and all five KOOS sub-scores. Greatest changes were seen in the ability of patients to perform sports and with improvement in healthful daily activity. Previous surgical treatment was performed on 31 of 38 knees in the study group and 37 of the 42 knees in the control group.

“This type of osteochondral allograft transplantation has traditionally been used in younger active patients with cartilage disorders. However, seeing this type of success allows sports medicine physicians another option in older patients and serves as a predictable biologic joint preservation technique,” said Crawford.

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