What is OATS / Mosaicplasty?
OATS stands for Osteochondral Autograft Transfer System.
It is an operation to treat areas of a joint where cartilage and its underlying bone are damaged. In this operation plugs of cartilage and bone are taken from one area of the knee (where the cartilage is not very important) and transferred to an area of damage where it is very important to have cartilage. This can be performed as a single piece or with multiple plugs pushed together to fill a larger defect. Sometimes the bone and cartilage is taken from a donor (Cadaver) rather than from the patient themselves. This has the advantage of not creating an area of secondary damage in the injured joint.
How is the operation perfomed?
It is normally performed through a small cut around the knee although it can sometime be perfomed arthroscopically. After the operation, gentle movement is allowed but we want the bone and cartilage to heal before performing more rigorous exercise.