Dr. Kennedy has performed more OATS procedures and published more studies on them than anyone in the USA
What is OATS of the Ankle?
OATS of the ankle is a surgical procedure to treat Osteochondral Lesions of the Talus (OCL) or Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD). It involves the transfer of healthy cartilage to replace the damaged cartilage and restore the normal function of the foot. The cartilage can be taken from your ankle joint (autograft) for smaller defects. An allograft (graft from a donor) is considered for large defects. During an OATS procedure, multiple, tiny plugs of healthy bone and cartilage are transferred and laid in a mosaic pattern, hence, the procedure is also known as mosaicplasty.
What are Osteochondral Lesions (OCL)?
OCL’s are defects of the bone and cartilage in a joint usually caused by trauma or repeat ankle sprains.
Indications for OATS Procedure
When your osteochondral lesion is greater than 1cm in diameter.
The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. It involves the following steps:
An incision is made at the ankle joint. A few ligaments may be incised to expose the joint.
Your surgeon performs debridement of the chondral surface to remove damaged cartilage. Some damaged bone may also be removed. Care is taken to prevent damage to healthy cartilage.
An autograft is procured from a non-articulating portion of your knee and is inserted at the damaged site. Great cone is needed to ensure perfect alignment.
The tibial osteotomy is fixed with titanium screws to allow post-operative MRI.
Stem cells are used to augment healing.
Outcome of OATS Procedure
Patients typically experience reduced pain with improvement in the movement and functioning of the foot. Complications are rare.