Stem Cell Treatment Offers Hope for Osteoarthritis Patients Facing Joint Replacement
July 13, 2010
(ChattahBox)—Stem cell research continues to offer hope for a variety of medical conditions. A new clinical trial in England, will use adult cultured stem cells from the patient’s own body to treat the painful and debilitating condition of osteoarthritis in the knee joint. The cartilage regeneration benefits obtained from the transplanted stem cells may someday do away with costly joint replacement surgery.
The clinical trial is being conducted at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry, Shropshire on 70 adult patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis causing severe pain and disability as cartilage wears away in the joint.
“Stem cell transplantation surgery involves two operations and a period of six month’s convalescence and rehabilitation. In the first operation, a patient’s own cartilage or bone marrow stem cells are removed via keyhole surgery, and grown in the laboratory for three weeks. They are then re-implanted back into the area of damaged or worn cartilage where over several months they form new cartilage. The Oswestry team will follow up the patients for a year, and will measure success by looking at the quality of the cartilage, and the patient’s ability to perform everyday activities.”
Successful cartilage regeneration in patients having knee osteoarthritis could lead to the stem cell treatment performed on other worn joints, such as hips and shoulders.
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Jmh649/ Osteoarthritis of the left knee. Note the osteophytes, narrowing of the joint space (arrow), and increased subchondral bone density (arrow).