publicado em 01/07/2012 às 13h59:00
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Shortage of donor tissue impairs technique for knee surgery

Procedure adopted for more than 30 years in the U.S. and Canada was established in Brazil this year alone

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The shortage of donor tissue in Brazil has created difficulties for surgical transplantation of cartilage in the knee, a new technique in the country that has been applied by the Hospital das Clinicas, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo (USP). The procedure is performed in young patients, between 15 and 45 years who have suffered severe traumatic injury in the knee. The technique is already used for more than 30 years in the United States and Canada but in Brazil, due to difficulties with the law, the first transplant of the type only occurred this year on March 26.

Since then, five people have benefited from the transplant. The patients are great, the orthopedist said Luis Eduardo Tírico, MD, Institute of Orthopaedics, Hospital das Clinicas (HC), in an interview with Brazil Agency.

The big problem for the use of this technique in the country, according to the doctor, is to find donors for bone, cartilage and tendons. In 2011, [the bank's Hospital of organs] there were approximately 1,900 potential donors. [Of these], 198 people donated organs effectively. But only 12 of these patients have donated bone, cartilage and tendon. That is, from 2000 potential donors, we have around 1% [donor], the doctor said. He said this is partly because patients do not fit the criteria for donation, but most of them do not donate these organs through ignorance.

Failure causes delays in the donor transplant but surgery as the doctor is a rapid process: it takes about two hours. The patient is hospitalized for two days in hospital. On average, in three months [the patient] can walk without crutches and return to work or activities around six months or a year, depending on the lesion. If he sat working, around three months may already be working, he said. To return to running and cycling, only after one year.

According Tírico, transplantation is the best alternative for the young patient who has a major knee injury. The path would be to make them a prosthesis, and this is disastrous because they change several times prosthesis over time and the patient may end up with an infection or a leg amputation.

Moreover, added the doctor, the transplant decreases the burden of the National Institute of Social Security (INSS) with the aid payment. The patients are young and giving charge to the INSS, receiving aid disability or illness, unable to work. The idea of ​​this procedure is that this patient back to work and have a normal life.

   Palavras-chave:   Transplantation    Organ donation    Knee surgery    Hospital das Clinicas    HC    University of São Paulo    USP   
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