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How is Donated Tissue Used to Repair Sports Injuries?

Sports Injuries are very common and often result in surgical repair using donated tissue to improve the patient’s condition, ultimately improving their way of life.

Have you ever known someone who suffered a sports injury which resulted in surgery to repair an ACL? Chances are they received donated tissue. About 2.5 million tissue transplants are performed each year. Tissue donation can benefit patients in many medical situations ranging in severity – including burns, athletic injuries, repairing skin and teeth, and much more.

While there are many ways donated tissue can be used to heal injuries and transform lives, below are some of the common cases for use in sports injuries:

  • ACL Repair and/or Reconstruction
  • Multi-ligament repair
  • Lateral ankle reconstruction
  • Meniscus transplant

Sports Injuries are very common and often result in surgical repair using donated tissue to improve the patient’s condition, ultimately improving their way of life. In cases where donated tissue is used to fix the injury, it is what’s considered Allograft Tissue. This means that it is coming from another person – hence donated tissue! There are many benefits to Allograft Tissue such as a shorter hospital stay and no second incision site. There is also no need for immunosuppressant medications because unlike organ donation, there is no chance of rejection. The other type is called Autograft Tissue, meaning that it is tissue coming from the patient themselves.

This is just a short glimpse at the miracle of tissue donation, but don’t take our word for it. Read the Q&A below and learn how donated tissue and cartilage transformed the life of Ken and his family:

The Impact of Tissue Donation

After suffering multiple shoulder dislocations resulting in irreparable damage, LifeSource team member, Ken Berge, had a full shoulder replacement done where they transplanted a donor ankle into his left shoulder, as well as some cartilage. Here is what he had to say about the impact tissue donation has had on his life.

How has tissue donation impacted you and your quality of life?

Tissue donation has impacted me in a way in which I can now do things I could never do before. I am now able to play sports with my son, work on cars, carry my daughter and walk my dogs. Before I received my tissue transplant, I was only able to use one arm for everything since my left shoulder couldn’t hold any weight.

What has been the biggest change?

The biggest change for me is sincerely the ability to use my left arm like normal. I couldn’t even lift my arm above my waist before receiving tissue.

Did you know much about tissue donation prior to your procedure?

Unfortunately, I really knew nothing about tissue donation until my surgeon mentioned I would be on a waiting list for donor tissue.

Did this experience inspire you to pursue a career in the donation industry?

It definitely did, I came across a posting for LifeSource through a recruiter and as soon as I saw what LifeSource was about, I had to work here!

Is there anything you would like people to know about tissue donation?

Tissue donation can make a world of difference in a person’s life. I may not have been able to do my job currently if I hadn’t received the gift of tissue donation in my life. But because of an unknown person out there with a family that made the decision to follow through with donation, I am able to spend more time with my family doing active things. That is a debt I can only think re-paying by being a registered donor myself and by encouraging others to do so as well.