Results of Osteochondral Autologous Transplantation in the Knee

Sandra Muller*, 1, Roelf S Breederveld2, Wim E Tuinebreijer3
1 Department of Surgery, VU University Medical Center, Boelelaan 1117, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2 Department of Surgery, Red Cross Hospital, Vondellaan 13, 1942 LE Beverwijk, The Netherlands
3 Dutch Burns Foundation, P.O. Box 1015, 1940 EA Beverwijk, The Netherlands

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© Muller et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Surgery, VU University Medical Center, Boelelaan 1117, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Tel: +31619179339; E-mail:


Repair of full thickness defects of articular cartilage in the knee is difficult but important to prevent progression to osteoarthritis. The purpose of this retrospective study was to evaluate the clinical results of Osteochondral Autograft Transplant System (OATS) treatment for articular defects of the knee.

Between 1999 and 2005, 15 knees (14 patients) were treated by the OATS technique. Age ranged from 27 to 52 years. Cartilage defects were up to 3.75 cm2. The mean follow-up was 42 months. Knee function was assessed by the Lysholmscore and International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) Subjective Knee Form. Six patients scored good or excellent. No patient had knee instability. Twelve of 13 patients returned to sports at an intermediate or high level. The subjective assessment score (0-10) changed from 4.7 before operation to 7.2 afterward (P=0.007). The OATS-technique resulted in a decrease in symptoms in patients with localized articular cartilage defects. We consider the OATS technique to be an appropriate treatment for cartilage defects to prevent progression of symptoms.

Keywords: Osteochondral autologous transplantation, articular cartilage, knee injuries, mosaicplasty.