Osteochondral Autologous / OATS

An Osteochondral Autologous Transplantation or OATS procedure is when you are able to take bone and cartilage from a healthy part of the knee and implant it into a damaged area. The procedure is performed in a single stage. Cartilage is removed from a healthy non-weight bearing portion of the femur, usually the notch or trochlear area, and implanted onto the damaged weight-bearing portion of the femur.

Who is a candidate for Osteochondral Autologous Transplantation / OATS procedure?

Most of the time, the OATS procedure can be performed on lesions less than or equal to 4 cm2. However, ultimately the damaged cartilage area size, location, and specific patient factors will determine if you are a candidate for this procedure.

Is Osteochondral Autologous Transplantation / OATS procedure safe?

Since you are using your own tissue for this procedure, there is no risk of disease transmission.

What are the outcomes of Osteochondral Autologous Transplantation / OATS procedure?

In general, OATS procedure demonstrates superior outcomes to microfracture techniques. One long-term clinical study looking at 831 patients undergoing this procedure showed good to excellent results for 92% of patients of femoral condylar transplantations, 87% of tibial resurfacing, and 79% of patellar and/or trochlear transplantations.


Cartilage Restoration: Microfracture and Osteochondral Autograft Transplantation. J Knee Surg. 2018 Mar;31(3):231-238. doi: 10.1055/s-0037-1618592. Epub 2018 Feb 2.

Autologous osteochondral mosaicplasty for the treatment of full-thickness defects of weight-bearing joints: ten years of experimental and clinical experience.
J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2003; 85-A Suppl 2:25-32 (ISSN: 0021-9355)