Dr. Mark Wichman is a Milwaukee-based orthopedic surgeon with Aurora Advanced Healthcare Orthopedics. With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Mark Wichman applies his expertise to a number of conditions, including injuries and degenerative conditions of the knee, shoulder, ankle, and elbow. Physicians at Aurora Advanced Healthcare Orthopedics performed the first cartilage transplant in 1997.
The meniscus is a C-shaped piece of cartilage that provides cushioning and shock absorption for the knee joint. When that cushioning is damaged or worn, significant paint and arthritis can develop. A patient will often undergo arthroscopic surgery to have the meniscus trimmed or repaired. If the patient meets certain criteria, he or she may be a candidate for a meniscus transplant.
During a meniscus transplant procedure, the damaged tissue is replaced with donor cartilage that has undergone extensive testing. After the surgery, a patient should expect to immobilize his knee for 4-6 weeks. Then, he will undergo several weeks of physical therapy. Normal daily activities can be resumed after two to three months. The risk of complications from a meniscus transplant are very small.
A patient is a candidate for a meniscus transplant if he is missing over half of a meniscus, is under 55 year’s old, healthy, active, and exhibits normal alignment. He must also show evidence of very little arthritis and damage to articular cartilage.