SHARJAH: Sharjah University Hospital, through its Himchan Spine and Joint Center, is now conducting a meniscus graft (MAT) transplant for patients suffering from severe knee problems as a result of permanently damaged menisci.
A meniscus is a thin fibrous cartilage between the surfaces of some joints, such as the knee.
The surgery was considered effective in 85 percent of the patients treated by the hospital’s main orthopedic surgeon.
MAT is a minimally invasive transplant surgery that uses advanced endoscopy, which involves obtaining a C-shaped cartilaginous tissue called a donor’s meniscus. It is transplanted to the patient’s knee. Since this meniscus is biologically identical to the patient’s own, the graft rate is remarkably high and there is no rejection of the transplant.
According to the hospital, the procedure can be done in 90 minutes and leaves only a minimal scar. MAT patients can also start walking six weeks after the operation and exercise after three months.
Dr. Seung Jun Park, consultant orthopedic surgeon at the Himchan-UHS Joint and Spine Center, said: “MAT minimizes friction between the tibia (tibia) and the thigh bone (femur) and brings back normal physiology of the knee joint. Therefore, it offers a solution against degenerative arthritis and reduces pain due to meniscal damage at the same time. “
According to Dr. Park, the meniscus is more susceptible to injuries in the age group between 40 and 50 years. For non-severe cases, patients can resort to treatments such as compressive dressings, anti-inflammatories and physical therapy. However, if more than 70 percent of the meniscus is damaged in patients under 55, Dr. Park recommends that they undergo MAT. Dr. Park, who was CEO of Bupyeong Himchan Hospital in South Korea, performed up to 77 MAT surgeries.
Dr. Ali Obaid Al Ali, executive director and member of the Board of Trustees at Sharjah University Hospital, said: “Our consulting orthopedic surgeons at the Himchan Articulation and Spine Center – UHS are known to be some of the best in the UAE . In addition to performing specialized treatments for joints and bones, they also assess the condition of each patient and develop the best medical plan. “
The Himchan-UHS Joint and Spine Center advised those who experience discomfort, swelling for more than three days or even a “click” sensation in their knees to see an orthopedic surgeon to check their menisci. If more than half of the menisci is permanently damaged, the risk of developing degenerative arthritis can increase by up to 71% in five years.
There are two menisci on each human knee that act as a cushion to absorb the force of the impact on the knees, as well as a lubricant that allows the knee joints to move easily. If the damage to the meniscus is not treated properly at an early stage, it will damage the joint cartilage, which can result in more serious knee problems.