Doctors have successfully healed the broken leg of a rock climber with the help of his own stem cells. It is a breakthrough attempt.
Andrew Kent was so badly hurt while rock climbing in the Lake District that traditional surgery failed, leaving him with the option of getting his limb amputated.
AdvertisementHowever, the new stem cell technique eliminated the possibility.
Kent and his son were climbing in the Langdale Pikes earlier this year when a large boulder fell on his right leg, breaking it in five places.
His tibia - the shinbone - had broken through the skin just above his ankle.
During the operation, orthopaedic surgeon Anan Shetty removed stem cells from the bone marrow in his patient's hip and mixed them with a new collagen gel called Cartifill to make a paste, which was smeared into the fractures.
They finally fixed his leg in a metal cage to gently squeeze the bones together.
The cage was removed six months after the stem cell procedure.
Shetty revealed how he had put all his weight on Kent's leg, but the bones remained solid.
"He has really surprised us. This is an amazing technique. He won't be able to run for about a year, but after 18 months his bones will have healed completely. I'm sure he'll be able to go back and rock climb again," Sky News quoted Shetty as saying.
Kent said, "I've got a good prognosis. I'm very pleased with the way things have turned out."
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