BENGALURU: A heart, liver or kidney transplant involves matching of blood types, extensive screening for infections and life-long immunosuppressants to avoid rejection of donor organ. But a meniscus — the tissue between the leg bone and the thigh bone that prevents grinding of bones against each other — neither has blood supply nor nerves connected to it, which makes its transplant relatively easier.
Rame Abdul Fattah (43) from Yemen became the first patient in Karnataka to have successfully undergone meniscus transplant here last Tuesday.
Since meniscus is a fibrous cartilage that has no blood supply or nerves, it cannot regenerate. Meniscus tears can be treated with repairs in selective cases and where repair is not possible, removal of meniscus is the treatment. In cases where meniscus has to be removed more than 75%, patient will suffer from cartilage damage in future as the cushioning effect of the knee joint is lost and will lead to early wear and tear (arthritis).
Fattah works at Aden port and injured himself while playing football. Dr Chandrashekar P, senior consultant and head of department, Orthopaedics, Sakra World Hospital, who operated upon Fattah, said, “He had lost more than 80% inner meniscus and had started developing early cartilage degeneration and the only option was a transplant. The only criteria we look for in donor tissue is the size and circumference of the meniscus, no other matching is required.”The surgery was done on Tuesday and by Thursday, Fattah was discharged.