Too Young for Knee Replacement Surgery a Knee Allograft Could Help

A knee injury is one of the most common injuries, and if severe enough knee surgery is recommended. However, knee replacement surgery is not ideal for patients in their 20s, 30s, nor 40s, since the implants only work on average for 12-15 years and requires follow-up surgeries. There is another option for younger patients who have severe knee injuries being an osteochondral allograft transplant.

Knee PainJorge S. lived an active life earning a black belt in tae kwon do, chasing his two young children and being an electrician required him to be on his feet all day. Unfortunately, a devastating work accident caused injuries to his neck, lower back, knees, and his right wrist and hand. His doctor recommended a special team of NYU Langone physicians that included a knee surgeon being Dr. Steven Struhl.

Dr. Struhl started with physical therapy on his knees to see if that could help Jorge prior to jumping into any surgery.

Unfortunately, Jorge was still experiencing a tremendous amount of knee pain. “The pain was so intense that nothing worked. It was almost unbearable to get to the bedrooms on the second floor.”

After some additional tests and thorough examinations, Dr. Struhl told Jorge that he would need to have knee surgery, but he was too young for a knee replacement surgery. Due to how extensive the injury was, Jorge would be a good candidate for osteochondral allograft transplant. Dr. Struhl explained, “A knee allograft is a procedure where we transplant knee cartilage and bone from a cadaver. After we find the right donor match, a small incision is made, the damaged cartilage and bone removed, then replaced with the donor’s.”

Jorge had to wait 6 months for the right donor. In June 2016, Dr Struhl performed the osteochondral allograft transplant knee surgery. “The very next day I could feel the difference, no longer experienced knee pain and I was able to move”, shared Jorge. After following a thorough physical therapy program, he could not believe the difference.

Knee Allograft Prep Pic

Knee being prepared by drilling out the area of the defect

Allograft successfully implanted and replacing nearly the whole surface of the patella

Allograft successfully implanted and replacing nearly the whole surface of the patella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“After the accident, I never thought that it would be possible to get back into the sports I love like tae kwon do. Now I feel like I am 21 again. I got on the elliptical and my knee feels brand new. Dr. Struhl really took his time. He went straight for the research to find the right solution the first time. Thank God that I was able to find Dr. Struhl and his staff”, exclaimed Jorge. “The entire office staff is amazing. They made sure that everything was taken care of. They never treated me like I was just a number, and I felt like part of their family. I know that I can reach someone at any time day or night and they will be there for me. They care for me, and more importantly my well-being. I could not ask for anything more from them.”

Finding Dr. Struhl is priceless for my family and me. He gave me the opportunity to get back to work, my family, and enjoying life.

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