British surgeons are using the TiGenix technology to re-grow Knee Cartilage
Brits Re-Grow Knee Cartilage (written by Biloine Young @ OTW)
A 50-year-old British mother is pain free for the first time in six years, she says, after undergoing a revolutionary new treatment to have her damaged knee cartilage re-grown. This is the first time the re-growth treatment was used outside of clinical trials in Britain, according to the surgeon.
A surgeon at Spire Southampton Hospital, Hants, in the United Kingdom—the first to offer the revolutionary treatment— scraped a small amount of healthy cartilage, around the size of two pencil erasers, from the non-weight bearing part of the patient’s knee. The hospital shipped the sample, which contained about 15,000 cells, to a laboratory in Belgium where workers cultured them. Two months later, the number of cells had grown to more than six million. When the Belgians returned the cells to the UK, doctors applied them to a small patch stitched on to the hole in the patient’s knee cartilage.
The cells are expected to continue to grow over the next 12 months and when the year is up doctors will know if the procedure has been successful. In the meantime the patient must follow a strict rehabilitation regime to give the treatment the best chance of success.
“Within just a few weeks I have already noticed that I can use my right leg in the car without any discomfort and I can walk up and down the stairs with drastically less pain,” the patient said the September 27, 2011, press release.
The procedure is currently restricted to articular knee cartilage but physicians at the hospital believe that it will soon lead to the re-growth of other human body part.