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Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton Hospital performs its first osteochondral allograft

Feb. 18, 2021, 9:16 AM

Collin Bills, MD, and colleagues did the procedure in January at Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton Hospital.

by Emily Stembridge

Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton Hospital has performed its first osteochondral allograft, a grafting method used to treat cartilage injuries that expose underlying bone. The procedure, which requires advanced training in sports medicine, was performed by Collin Bills, MD, on Jan. 26.

Bills’ patient was experiencing continued pain and swelling in the knee following a leg injury. He saw the need to use an osteochondral allograft to replace the patient’s injured knee cartilage with donor material — marking the first time this procedure has been performed at Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton.

“Osteochondral allograft procedures are a common solution in the world of orthopaedics,” said Bills. “But they aren’t nearly as common in more rural community hospitals like ours. I was well trained and prepared to perform this procedure, and it is an honor to be able to offer my expertise to my local community.”

Bills expects the procedure to relieve the patient’s pain and swelling for the foreseeable future. Patients can usually bear weight four to six weeks after surgery, with activity gradually increasing over a period of six to nine months.

“We are extremely grateful to have Dr. Collin Bills on our medical staff. We look forward to additional ‘firsts’ such as the osteochondral allograft procedure he performed,” said Rich Ellis, president of Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton Hospital. “His expertise as a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon and his sports medicine training are assets not only to our hospital but to this entire region as well.”

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