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OATS OATS vs TKR

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badknees82

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Hello everyone. Not sure if this is the correct forum to be posting this on, so if not, feel free to move. Writing this thru tears of pain so please understand.

I'm 41 years old & have had numerous knee surgeries on both knees. My knee problems started at 15 w/knee dislocations. My most recent surgeries were a few years ago. During those surgeries I had lateral releases, medial reefings & microfractures done. Only bought me a few years of less pain. And the microfractures didn't work at all.

Im now having severe, ripping/stabbing pain on the inside of my knee. I can hardly weight-bear at all. I can't even walk on the treadmill anymore. So basically no exercise now. I have an MRI w/marker (injection) being done Monday. My ortho doc is suggesting OATS but I don't want to do this if it's not going to take away the pain or only last a year or 2. Not only that but I hear for OATS recovery im going to have to take 6 mos off work.

Am I crazy to just want to replace my knee now at this age?? My ortho doc is saying he will not do that but I am in unbearable, never-ending pain.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

Celle

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Hello, @badknees82
:welome: Yes, you're in the right place.

Since I don't know much about the OATS procedure, I'm going to ask @Josephine , our Nurse Director, to advise you.

I can understand your feeling that you want to have a procedure that will fix your knee and take away your pain, once and for all. A TKR would be my choice in that situation.

By the way, if your surgeon is saying that you are "too young" to have a TKR, he is a bit old-fashioned. Nowadays, TKRs can last for 30 years or so. There's no need to wait until you are "old enough" to have one.

Maybe you should ask for a second opinion, from another surgeon - one who is not associated in any way with your present surgeon, and who can look at your knee with new eyes.
 

Roy Gardiner

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OATS http://www.bonejointcenter.com/oats-procedure.html

I agree with Celle. I would find one (or more!) other surgeons who are knee specialists for further opinion. Make sure they have no link to the one you're currently consulting!

My general thoughts on topics to consider pre-op.

- if your knees rule your life , it's time
- take charge, don't be dictated to; it's your knee, your future
- don't believe in either horror stories or miraculous recoveries that happened to 'a friend of a friend'
- there is no such thing as too young or too heavy or even obese for TKR
- choose a specialist surgeon who does several hundred TKRs a year. Ask the nurses, if you can; they know who's best
- all replacement knees are very similar, don't believe that a special new one will give magical recovery -- it's the skill of the surgeon that counts
- if you need two done, think carefully about the time gap between surgeries, it's not a trivial decision
- try to plan for at least 12 weeks off work
- your recovery is your time to be selfish and idle; plan to embrace this, you'll need it
- don't think you can work hard (even if you're an athlete ) to speed recovery, healing works at its own pace
- look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) thread and for full reference the Library index.

- finally, if there's any part of this that you aren't clear about, ask here; it's what BoneSmart's for.
 

Josephine

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My ortho doc is suggesting OATS but I don't want to do this if it's not going to take away the pain or only last a year or 2. Not only that but I hear for OATS recovery im going to have to take 6 mos off work.
OATS stands for osteochondral autograft transfer system. It has been around for a while but my opinion is that it very rarely has a significantly successful outcome.
Am I crazy to just want to replace my knee now at this age??
Not in the least. In fact, I think you are showing great wisdom. You've already had numerous of these so-called time-saving procedures which you now know don't work and may even result in being more painful than you were before. Time to call it a day on this, methinks!
My ortho doc is saying he will not do that
Well you know what - he's not the only knee surgeon around! I suggest you start searching for a second opinion, only this time, when you phone the clinic, ask if the surgeon has any lower limit on the age of prospective TKR patients.

As encouragement, I would tell you that we have had a number of members a LOT younger than you who have had knee replacements, some have even been in their 20s! But 30s and 40s is not at all uncommon. My surgeon always said that he checks out new patients in this order: history (what the patient tells me), clinical signs (what he finds for himself upon examination) and xrays. He never uses MRIs, btw. And when I asked him about age, he firmly said he never looks at the patient's date of birth because, given all the other information, it's irrelevant.
 

fuzzybunny

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My doctor was hoping to be able to do a Carticel procedure (similar to OATS) to buy me time for a replacement. He did a scope to make sure I was a candidate for it. He determined I need a bicompartmental replacement but will do a total if I am more comfortable with that choice. I am 41.

What do your x-rays look like? OATs only works for isolated defects with good margins, which is hard to determine via MRI.

A second opinion is always a good idea.
 

Pumpkln

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badknees82,
Be sure to fill out the score chart in the link Roy left you in the "rule your life" link. The chart will show you just how much your knees are limiting your life. The score chart is a good way to communicate with any OS you consult just how bad your knees are and how much your life is being limited now.
Good luck in your search for a surgeon,
 

ridgw003

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I had the OATS back in June. 35 years old here. Initially went well and then started swelling with a lot of similar pain patterns. Scheduled for another MRI after having ~50 cc's drained out of it (yeah, it was pretty swollen) last Thursday.

I would recommend seeking a second or third opinion on it first.


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