In a revolutionary approach, British medics have found a novel way to "re-grow" knees in patients whose knee cartilages have been damaged.
Because the body cannot regenerate shock-absorbing cartilage, thousands of patients have to undergo multiple knee replacement operations. But now, surgeons scrape healthy cells from the knee, and send them to Germany to be re-grown in a petri dish with growth enhancers.
AdvertisementA fragile sheet of cartilage made from the patients' cells and DNA is then stitched back into place to revitalise the knee.
Surgeon Ashvin Pimpalnerkar operates on just ten patients a year at Good Hope Hospital, in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham.
"It is an amazing breakthrough and may become the norm. It is quite expensive, so this is aimed at younger patients and sport injuries at the moment," The Sun quoted him as saying
Patient Helen James, 33, of Rugeley, Staffs, was left with bone rubbing on bone after a fall destroyed her knee cartilage.
"I was in agony. I was nervous but had no pain from the surgery.
"It's mind-blowing to think that cartilage was taken out of my knee and regrown. It's amazing," she said.
More than 70,000 knee replacement ops take place in England and Wales every year.