Stem Cell Cartilage Could Prevent Hip Replacement In Arthritis Patients

Posted: Jul 20 2016, 10:41am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Stem Cell Cartilage Could Prevent Hip Replacement in Arthritis Patients
Researchers describe how they could use a patient's own stem cells to grow new cartilage that covers a 3-D scaffold molded to the shape of their hip joint. Image credit: Guilak Laboratory

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A new stem cell procedure could aid those patients that are currently seeking total hip replacement.

A family doctor was leading an active lifestyle when tragedy struck from nowhere. After being put in a hospital for asthma and being administered a heavy dosage of steroids, she began suffering from hip pain.

Soon she needed a walking stick to even go a furlong on her feet from her bed. Meanwhile, stairclimbing became a formidable task. She was later on diagnosed with avascular necrosis. This meant her hip bone would disintegrate soon.

This condition requires total hip replacement. 15% of all hip replacements performed in the US are due to this condition. There are several complications involved in this.

So stem cell research may come to the rescue as a last minute substitute for total hip replacement. The stem cells from the patient will form a replacement for the original bone that is lost to avascular necrosis.

It takes some time but eventually the dead bone is replaced with live bone stem cells. All it takes is one hour for each hip and the patient is good to go.

Thus both hips can be dealt with in two hours flat at one and the same time. First of all, a bone marrow sample is collected from the femur of the patient.

Then this sample is transferred to a gadget that concentrates it further. Finally, the bone is drilled and the stem cells are pumped into it. There they begin to grow with the passage of time.

The change is there but it takes place slowly and steadily. The success rate is 65%. More needs to be done in the future to make the success rate even higher.

About half a year after this procedure, the family doctor mentioned earlier is back on track and she is enjoying an active and vibrant existence. She is swimming, going on treks and engaging in pilates and yoga.

She admits that it is more of a miracle of modern-day medicine. With stem cell research as a novel procedure on the horizon, humanity is all set to charter the depths of biology and the human body.

The healing arts will combine forces to ameliorate the myriad symptoms patients suffer from. The word “disease” will vanish from the vocabulary and prosperity and good health will become the order of the day.

This study got published in the journal PNAS.

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