Swiss scientists may have come up with the solution for knee problems in the form of the nose cartilage as they may use cells extracted from the nose to repair knee cartilage damage.
The research experiment was undertaken by a team of Swiss researchers that were led by the University of Basel tissue engineering professor, Ivan Martin, and had its results published on October 22, in The Lancet journal.
The research included 10 people which underwent through an innovative, never before tried operation. The operation to repair their severally damaged knees was based on cells extracted from their nose cartilage, that was later used in order to restore their knees’ cartilage.
The operations were executed two years ago, and the patients’ state has been closely followed ever since. The latest tests show promising results as nine out of the ten patients’ scan reveal a significant improvement.
It would seem that the operation has improved for the better their possible pain levels, ease of movement, and the overall quality of their life.
Following the results, professor Martin stated that his team has come up with a promising, new approach in terms of articular cartilage injuries’ treatment.
The cartilage is the body’s rubber-like padding that protects the bones from rubbing together. The smooth cartilage develops at the joints, the bones’ ends, but cannot repair itself.
The most common effects of knee cartilage injuries are stiffness, swelling, and severe joint pains. As a certified cartilage damage treatment has not yet been introduced, most sufferers had two choices in the matter.
The first would be to take no measure and continue living with the problem or choose the second alternative, which would presuppose replacing the damaged joint with a new plastic or metal one.
Another alternative that has been proven to improve life as it leads to a healing process is the microfracture surgery. But the nose cartilage-based operation is the only one that has proven that cartilage can repair itself.
The two-year post operation scans showed that the patients’ knee cartilage was able to regrow, and developed just as any other normal cartilage of the knee.
As the preliminary results are all favorable and have not exhibited any side effects or adverse reactions, a larger trial will have to be undertaken in order to determine the larger scale applicability of the technique.
More step will have to be followed before the nose cartilage-based operation will be able to be used as an everyday clinical practice.
Both efficiency and cost factors will have to be scaled and taken into account, as well as the method’s applicability to a larger area of knee problems.
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