Cartilage Transplant Gives Knees New Life
For many years, the treatment options for patients suffering with Articular Cartilage defects or damage have been limited, but a revolutionary new procedure performed by Dan Adair, MD at Springfield Clinic offers hope.
Dr. Adair, specialist in Orthopedic Surgery, is one of the first in the area to perform chondral allograft transplantation, a method which removes the immature cartilage cells from a human tissue donor and transplants them into the host patient’s knee. The immature cells divide normally and create a more natural replacement for the patient’s missing or damaged cartilage. The procedure has been approved by the FDA and is endorsed by the International Cartilage Repair Society.
Articular Cartilage is a highly complex human tissue that provides cushion between bones in the knee and creates a smooth surface for its motion. Attempts to produce an artificial replacement for the tissue have met with little success. “Researchers thought they were ten years away about twenty years ago. Everything I read says we’re at least another ten years away from a product that can simulate our own tissue,” commented Adair.
More common alternatives, like Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation, where cartilage cells are grown in a lab, or Microfracture surgery, where tiny fractures are made in the bone to stimulate re-growth of the tissue, lack the durability desired. In some cases, knee arthroplasty (knee replacement surgery), depending on the patient’s condition, has yielded the best results.
“We’re very good at metal and plastic, but we’re looking for better solutions,” said Dr. Adair. “This new procedure allows us to biologically replace cartilage. The quality of the repair appears to be superior to traditional methods, especially when performed on younger patients.” According to Adair, chondral allograft transplantation is also less painful for the patient and is technically easier than alternatives, which makes it less expensive.
For more information, contact the Springfield Clinic Department of Orthopedic Surgery at 217.528.7541.
Dr. Daniel Adair
Dr. Adair, a native of Decatur, Illinois, earned his medical degree from SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, Illinois and performed an internship at Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Immediately following, he completed a residency in Orthopedic Surgery, also at Wake Forest, and served as the program’s Chief Resident from 1982 to 1983.
Dr. Adair has been a part of Springfield Clinic’s Department of Orthopedics & Sports Medicine since 1984. He serves as Medical Director of SportsCare of Illinois, in addition to holding several other positions within the local healthcare community.
Dr. Adair is certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and performs Orthopedic Surgery with special emphasis on total joint replacement and sports medicine. His practice focuses on all things related to the knee, including ACL repair, cartilage repair and replacement, and arthritis of the knee.
As an avid athlete, Dr. Adair advocates fitness as the key to maintaining musculoskeletal health. He encourages all patients to remain active, eat healthy and follow a wellness program with regular checkups and age-appropriate screening.