Stem cell hope for hip replacement procedure

 

Martin Halfpenny
Monday 28 May 2012 14:00
Comments

Hip replacements for some patients could be a thing of the past after surgeons pioneered a new stem cell procedure to tackle a bone disease that leads to arthritis.

Doctors at Southampton General Hospital are extracting stem cells from the bone marrow of patients in need of hip repair due to osteonecrosis - a condition where poor blood supply causes significant bone damage leading to severe arthritis.

These cells are mixed with cleaned, crushed bone from another patient who has had their own hip replaced and used to fill the hole made by surgeons after dead and damaged tissue has been removed from the joint.

The procedure has been developed by Doug Dunlop, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Southampton General Hospital, and Professor Richard Oreffo, a specialist in musculoskeletal science at the University of Southampton.

"Although this work is still ongoing, several patients who have had the procedure have reacted very well and, if we get the results we are hoping for, these patients won't need to have their hip joints replaced - they should be fixed completely," said Mr Dunlop.

Professor Oreffo added: "By using stem cells to send out chemical signals to blood vessels, we hope the body will continue to create new vessels in the hip which supply enough nutrients to maintain bone strength."

Osteonecrosis is on the rise in the UK with around 4,000 cases a year but it is much more widespread in Asia where it is the most common form of arthritis of the hip, the hospital said.

It can also be treated with drugs to help avoid arthritis and usually strikes between 30 and 50 years of age.

Osteonecrosis is one of the three main causes of arthritis alongside osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis in general affects one in five people in the UK.

PA

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in