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In joint repair, the role of stem cells is to treat early stage arthritis of the hip and knee joints. The cartilage on the joint surface is the barrier to arthritis and once this layer is damaged, it is likely to progress. Arthritic progression will present as pain, stiffness and loss of function in the joint. Autologous Stem Cell Therapy may be used in an attempt to encourage regeneration of this cartilage layer. This procedure is designed to help preserve the natural hip and knee joints and can delay or potentially prevent the need for a major operation such as a hip or knee replacement.
Stem cells are found in multicellular organisms, like humans, and not only have the ability to divide but also to form various structures such as bone, cartilage and other tissues. There are two basic forms of stem cells – the embryonic stem cell and adult stem cell. Adult stem cells (MSCs) have the ability to repair and regenerate tissues such as cartilage and bone more effectively. Adult stem cells (MSCs) can be found at various locations in the body, including bone marrow, fat tissue and peripheral blood. Adult stem cells (MSCs) are used for procedures performed at Highgate Private Hospital.
At Highgate Private Hospital stem cells used for the procedure are harvested directly from the patient. By using the process, there is no risk of disease transmission, rejection or ethical controversy that can occur by using cells from an unrelated donor. Everyone has a supply of adult stem cells (MSCs) in various tissues and these can be harvested using specialised techniques.
This procedure is performed using arthroscopy (keyhole surgery) of the hip or knee. Only a single operation is normally required and is carried out as day-case procedure for knee arthroscopy, and most hip arthroscopy patients will stay overnight as an in-patient. Under general anaesthesia, an aspirate of your blood and/or marrow is taken with a special needle, which is then processed to harvest the stem cells. At the same time, the keyhole surgery is started to access the hip or knee joint. The surgeon then prepares the joint tissue so that it is ready to receive the stem cells, and then the harvested stem cells, alongside a suitable scaffold, are injected through the same keyholes that are used for the keyhole surgery.
You can self refer for an appointment with Mr Gorav Datta. Simply ring through to our Client Services team on 02083414182 to book an appointment.
Autologous Stem Cell Therapy is not currently available on the NHS, but can be done privately as a self-funding patient. You can view the self-pay packages available at Highgate Private Hospital here.