Cartilage donation helping younger patients avoid joint replacement

promo297054044There is a transplant that keeps professional athletes in the game and works the same way to keep regular patients on their feet. For young adults not yet ready for joint replacement and who can’t go the distance living with debilitating pain, donor cartilage comes into play.

An intact, healthy piece of cartilage orthopedic surgeon Dr Brian Cole will transplant in his patient’s knee is about the size of a quarter.

The procedure is called an osteochondral allograft. But before Dr Cole, professor orthopedic surgery at Rush University Medical Center, could do the surgery, he needed donor tissue.

Think of it like an organ donation.

“Someone who would otherwise donate their heart, liver and lungs also donate their cartilage,” Dr Cole said. “Typically they are very young donors. Most of them have died in traumatic accidents and things of that nature but we utilize their cartilage to treat local spots of arthritis.”

Once the donor cartilage is tested and deemed safe for transplant – a process that takes about 14 days — the graft is pressed right into the defective area.

By Katharin Czink & Dina Bair | WGN News


About Peter Coffaro 1134 Articles

A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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