OCA Surgeon

Patients who have a large area of articular cartilage damage and are under 50 years of age, may benefit from a procedure called osteochondral allograft transplantation or OCA. Doctor Ronak Mukesh Patel, provides diagnosis and both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for patients in Sugar Land, Pearland, and the Houston, Texas area who have large areas of articular cartilage damage in the knee. Contact Dr. Patel’s team today!

What is an osteochondral allograft (OCA)?

An osteochondral allograft uses healthy tissue from a donor or tissue bank to repair the cartilage in the knee. During an osteochondral allograft transplantation, the damaged articular cartilage in the knee is removed and replaced with donor cartilage that is carefully shaped to fit the section of tissue where it is needed. The tissue is secured and will take the place of the original cartilage. Doctor Ronak Mukesh Patel, orthopedic knee surgeon, offers OCA for patients who can benefit from this procedure in Sugar Land, Pearland, and the Houston, Texas area.

Articular Cartilage Injury Restoration

What does an OCA transplant treat?

OCA transplant is used to treat large areas of damaged articular cartilage in the knee. Patients who are experiencing pain, inflammation, or catching of the knee which affects sports activity or everyday tasks, and if the individual is under the age of 50, he or she may benefit from this type of treatment. Those who suffer from osteochondritis dissecans (lack of nutrient-rich blood supply), avascular necrosis (bone tissue death) or localized, full-thickness injuries to the articular cartilage, may also benefit from osteochondral allograft transplantation.

How is an OCA transplant done?

An OCA transplant can be done on an outpatient basis. General anesthesia is used and is done with an open procedure that utilizes a slightly larger incision in the knee than an arthroscopy. The larger incision helps Dr. Patel to visualize the area of cartilage damage fully. After the incision is made in the knee, Dr. Patel measures the size of the defect and then removes any damaged areas. The new, sterilized, allograft is then sized to fit perfectly over the damaged section that was removed. The transplant is secured with a press-fit technique without the use of surgical screws or pins, when possible. Sutures are used to close the wound.

How long does it take to recover from an OCA transplant?

An OCA transplant can take around 6 months to fully recover and to return to normal activities. In general, most patients can expect the following:

  • After surgery, a knee brace may be necessary for 4-6 weeks to inhibit movement, which will allow the graft time to heal.
  • Limited weight bearing on the injured knee for 6 weeks.
  • Early range of motion with physical therapy is initiated the day after surgery which will ease stiffness and swelling.
  • Crutches will be necessary for 6 weeks after surgery.
  • Physical therapy will be required for up to 6 months.
  • Patients should refrain from prolonged standing or sitting, unless the knee is elevated, for the first weeks following surgery.