What Is Cartilage Regeneration?
Back in the year 2014, a study was carried out by researchers from the Hospital for Special Surgery. They discovered that patients who suffer from cartilage damage in their knee can have it treated with good results, due to the revolutionary technology of cartilage re-generation.
The research and a few case studies that followed after the discovery were presented to the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine at its annual meeting held in Chicago that year.
Current Approaches to Cartilage Repair
The name of the tough and incredibly flexible tissue which acts as a cushion for bones and joints is Hyaline Cartilage and it’s this that prevents joints and bones from rubbing against each other during physical activity. Gradual wear and tear or trauma can result in the hyaline cartilage being damaged, which in turn, limits normal joint movement and cause patients to suffer through severe pain. This condition, if left untreated for a long time, can lead to disability.
You should know that damage done to the cartilage isn’t as readily repaired by the body naturally, as the cartilage tissue does not having its own blood supply that would have been otherwise used to bathe damaged tissue and promote cartilage regeneration.
Thus, the current approach of surgeons to effectively treat cartilage damage and help promote its growth is by employing a technique called micro-fracture, a surgery which is generally performed on young adults, who as a result of a sports injury, are suffering from a cartilage tear.
While the procedure promises and gives good results to damage on a smaller scale, micro-fracture is ineffective for those who have widespread cartilage de-generation, or osteoarthritis.
Lighting the Way towards Cartilage Regeneration
Attempts have been made over the years by researchers and orthopedic surgeons alike to build human cartilage outside of the body for years and most of the attempts have proved to be successful, largely due to today’s technological advancements.
The process that is widely used to mimic and grow human cartilage outside of the body involves planting a number of cartilage producing cells into a biological scaffold, then placing them into incubation conditions found in the human body.
There are a number of factors concerned with the effective and successful regeneration of cartilage, one of them being the scaffolds that are being used for the experiment according to Jennifer Elisseeff, director of the Cell and Tissue Engineering Program at John Hopkins University. In her own lab, she uses hydrogel which is a specific type of scaffold.
After spending several years working on creating the highest quality cartilage under lab settings, Elisseeff discovered that the quality of the regenerated cartilage can be influenced for the better if a hydrogel scaffold could be used on the patient following micro-fracture surgery. A series of clinical trials followed the discovery, the results of which were published in Science Translational Medicine.
Clinical Trial Results
The results showed that more of the cartilage defect was filled successfully by the repaired cartilage, i.e. in 86% of the patients, after receiving the special gel/adhesive as compared to 64% who didn’t. Moreover, the cartilage implanted closely resembled the native strains in those who underwent the gel/adhesive treatment following a micro-fracture surgery.
OSPI in Arizona offers comprehensive treatment options for cartilage regeneration, including microfracture, Carticel, OATS procedure and stem cell therapy. The Board Certified providers treats patients from the entire East Valley including Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek, Casa Grande, Maricopa and surrounding areas.
Call today for the top knee, hip and shoulder specialists in Arizona’s East Valley today!