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The OATS Procedure

Articular or hylane cartilage is the smooth cartilage that covers the bone in joints like the knee. Damage to articular cartilage has eluded our ability to repair defects in it. Most defects in articular cartilage occur through traumatic events, though there are many other causes. Osteoarticular transfer system (OATS) is a surgical method of repairing articular cartilage defects with hylane cartilage. Though OATS has had early clinical success, long-term follow-up is essential for a full evaluation of its effectiveness. Limitations of the technique include the inability to deal with large and deep osteochondral defects, limited availability and possible damage to donor sites, non-filled spaces between the circular grafts and incomplete integration of the donor and recipient cartilage.