Carlos, kidney recipient. Credit: LifeSource.

Have you ever known someone who suffered a sports injury that required 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 – including burns, athletic injuries, repairing skin, 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
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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. When donated tissue is used to fix the injury, it’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 need for immunosuppressant medications because, unlike organ donation, there is no chance of rejection. The other type is called Autograft Tissue, meaning that the tissue comes from the patient themself.

Join the donor registry

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 Ken’s life and 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 that included a transplanted donor ankle, as well as some cartilage. Here’s what he had to say about the impact of tissue donation.

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’m 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 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 if I hadn’t received the gift of tissue donation. Because an unknown person out there with a family 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 of re-paying by being a registered donor myself and by encouraging others to do so as well.

Give the gift of overtime.

2,300 people are waiting for a life-saving transplant in Minnesota, and we need 2.3K new donor registrations – one for each person on the waiting list! Be a team player and join the donor registry today!

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