In the meantime, Buckwalter and others continue to work on imaging techniques that will allow them to identify molecular changes to the cartilage that could herald impending deterioration. Whether such tools will help surgeons head off osteoarthritis or other potential problems in those who may be at risk, Felson acknowledges, is unknowable right now.
As for Johnny the mandrill, Fu was able to remove some of the scar tissue and inflammation that was causing his patient's discomfort--which is where he intends to leave things for now. I dont think anybody in the world has ever reconstructed an ACL in a monkey, Fu says. I dont pretend I know how to do it. Meanwhile the patient is doing well, enjoying extra helpings of pudding and bananas.