CHENNAI: Knee replacement can be either postponed or avoided completely if the right treatment is given at the right time. The story of this dancer says it all. Advised for the replacement of knee at a young age, she not only could preserve her knee but also has a credit of the first to undergo complete arthroscopic single sitting cartilage repair using bone marrow derived stem cells. Now, Kanishka (name changed) is free to take the stage, with no fear whatsoever.
Fifteen months ago though, after a serious injury, things didn’t look so bright. The 36-year-old, along with her family consulted a doctor in the US and subsequently underwent cartilage trimming to remove the torn portion. Contrary to her expectations, her knee pain started progressively increasing due to cartilage defect even after the surgery and she was not able to even walk properly, let alone dance.
After a couple of months, she returned to Chennai to try her luck here. Dr Clement Joseph — Senior Consultant Arthroscopy & Sports Medicine Specialist at Global Health City said, “We evaluated her medical condition thoroughly and decided to repair the torn cartilage using a stem cells technique arthroscopically as it will not only preserve her knee joints but also offer long term benefits and better quality of life.”
Explaining the technique and processes followed, Dr Joseph added, “Cartilage tissues never heal on their own. The defects in cartilage if not treated appropriately may lead to wear and tear of joints. The impact on knee joints can be avoided if we are able to replace the torn cartilage with healthy ones. Since bone marrow stem cells have the ability to assume different cell function, we decided to use them to overcome the localised cartilage defects and to reduce the wear and tear of knee joints.”
Furthermore, he said, “In this case, bone marrow was taken from her right hip bone and processed in a special device to separate stem cells from bone marrow. The concentrated stem cells were then mixed with blood clotting factors (Fibrin and Thrombin) to immediately form stable clot to fill up the defect. The surgery which lasted two hours, was performed successfully. She was able to start walking with minimal support within two days of the surgery and discharged a couple of days later. Now, she is on her own being able to perform her routines with ease.”