Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Knee Arthritis Treatment Advances


The good news is that because osteoarthritis is affecting more and more people, there is more money to be made so more is spent on research.

Around the world, scientists are all looking for the 'Holy Grail' of osteoarthritis treatment - the ability to re-grow articular cartilage.

The bad news is that despite much effort, we are still some way off a simple solution.
Autologous Chondrocyte Implanting is currently being used to treat areas lacking articular cartilage. This involves multiple operations. Firstly some cartilage cells are harvested via key hole surgery. These are grown in a laboratory before being implanted to cover the defect in the second procedure. Results vary depending on the size and location of the original lesion. It is also costly, and has a lengthy rehabilitation.

Scientists are looking for a simple way to re-grow cartilage. One that can be administered via injection or a single operation.

A new study out of the U.S. has had some promising results using a nanofiber gel in combination with a microfracture technique. The success has so far only been achieved on animal models but it offers hope for the future. This type of treatment is minimally invasive and just what we are looking for. Lets hope the follow up studies are positive as well.

See the full article here.

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