A different kind of knee transplant: Long-term result of meniscus transplants show success

A different kind of knee transplant: Long term result of meniscus transplants show success (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A Tri-State medical team is among the first in the country to show an important breakthrough treating knee pain.

A new knee study by the team at Mercy Health Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine shows we may be able to save a lot of young athletes with knee injuries from joint replacement surgery in the future.

The team recently published this study in the "American Journal of Sports Medicine," which shows the first long-term results for a meniscus transplant.

There is nothing Karli Mast may love more than the game of basketball, so when a knee injury nearly kept her off the court, Dr. Frank Noyes got her back in play with a meniscus transplant.

If you lose a meniscus, or that cushion, it's like driving your car without shock absorbers, and what happens in 10 years is that you end up with an arthritic joint.

The meniscus is a rubbery “c-shaped” disc that cushions the knee.

Dr. Noyes says a transplant simply replaces it with a donor meniscus that eventually binds to your own body.

The procedure actually avoids a knee replacement.

The good news is that Dr. Noyes has been putting the transplants in long enough that there is some long-term research on the subject, and the results are pretty remarkable.

70% of the patients will get a very useful knee for at least 10 years, and that's a good number.

Karli is one of the lucky ones, she's not only back on the court, she's back to coaching the game at Tiffin University and remembering all the reasons she never wanted to stay on the sidelines.

“Mostly how you can just get away from everything else, and just play, and I’m glad I can still do that with this surgery,” said Karli.

If the transplants don't take, or wear out, you can do another transplant.

It isn't a live transplant, so there's no risk that the body will reject it.

This could be critical for female athletes, that Dr. Noyes found out have a higher risk for knee injury.

At Tiffin University they use his knee training program called “Sportsmetrics,” to reduce those odds

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