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Cutting Edge Medicine Regenerates Cartilage for the Knee

ortho surgeon getting ready for surgery

The Washington Post’s  Marlene Cimons recently shared an article on North Carolina resident, Matt Oates, who has undergone a relatively new and innovative surgery technique. This technique is currently being offered by Dr. Nicholson at Perimeter Orthopaedics.

Washington Post

Matt Oates, 41, ran competitive track and cross-country in high school and college, then kept on running. On New Year’s Day 2018, he resolved to run every day that year, and he did — a total of 2,435 miles, including 14 half-marathons. He has had a few injuries, most of them minor, except in 2005 when he tore the ACL — the anterior cruciate ligament — in his right knee while playing indoor volleyball. He recovered from surgery, and resumed running.

In 2019, however, he slipped and fell while frolicking with his young nephew in a natural waterfall during a Memorial Day outing at Georgia’s Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. “I didn’t think too much of it at the time,” says Oates, who lives in Raleigh, N.C., where he manages a moving-and-storage company. “My right knee hurt, but I ran through the pain. But my knee would swell, and it was impacting my stride.

In January, he finally had an MRI, which showed he had torn his meniscus, a common sports injury to the cartilage that cushions the area between the shinbone and thighbone. But there was more. The scan also revealed an area under the kneecap where the cartilage had worn away, which often portends full-blown osteoarthritis — and possible knee replacement — years later. Unlike bone, which has the ability to heal, cartilage cannot restore itself once injured. (Washington Post, Cimons).

To read more about Matt Oates and his recovery, view the article here.

Perimeter Orthopaedics

Until recently, patients with kneecap cartilage damage had very few options for recovery. Dr. Nicholson is a licensed and board-certified orthopedic surgeon, specializing in sports medicine. He is widely known for his expertise in arthroscopic and minimally invasive procedures of the shoulder, elbow, hip and knee. Dr. Nicholson is also known for his expertise in the regenerative medicine field.

Today, a new and innovative technique that regenerates cartilage from a sample of cells taken from a knee and grown in a lab is embedded on a collagen membrane. The surgeon can then implant the membrane back into the knee and let the cells take over to form new cartilage tissue over time. Overall the procedure preserves the joint, restores the cartilage, allowing the patient to return to his or her sports, or other activities, pain-free.

This procedure has been approved by the FDA and been in use for a few years in other countries. Very few surgeons in America have perfected this regenerative surgery, and Perimeter Ortho is proud to have Dr. Nicholson on staff.

Orthobiologics / Regenerative Medicine

Orthopedic surgery and regenerative medicine have steadily started to work together over the last few years. The combination between the two practices are “very exciting” according to Dr. Nicholson.

Orthobiologics, a field of musculoskeletal care, aims to utilize the body’s natural healing response to treat acute and chronic conditions and injuries. These therapeutic options can treat conditions without surgery or as an adjunct to surgical intervention. When used for non-operative treatment, often, these therapies can be applied through simple procedures performed in the doctor’s office.

Research shows improved outcomes with orthobiologics in treating a variety of conditions, including cartilage injuries, arthritis of the joints, as well as soft tissue conditions such as rotator cuff and ligament tears, muscular and tendon strains, and chronic tendonitis such as tennis or golfer’s elbow.


High-quality orthopedic care is invaluable. It helps people, like you, reclaim their quality of life and get back to doing the things they love.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Nicholson and discuss treatment options in person or via telehealth, please call our office at 404-255-5595.


Lauren Mueller Marketing

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