Articular cartilage is an elastic tissue, like a sponge that does not have blood or lymph vessels. It is composed of the extracellular matrix and chondrocytes. Which in turn have their origin in chondroblasts. The chondrocytes are embedded in the matrix, rich in collagen II, IX, XI and proteoglycans. Chondrocytes are the cells responsible for maintaining the integrity of articular cartilage. An injury or degeneration of the cartilage is followed by diseases such as osteoarthritis. Here we explained how can we regrow lost knee cartilage by body mechanics.
The cartilage regeneration treatment of the knee is complicate by the fact that the cartilage has a low cell density. Since its volume is occupies by a minimum percentage of chondrocytes. In addition, the chondrocytes do not have the capacity to migrate, which makes the capacity of the cartilage to self-repair low. The cartilage needs movement, load for maintenance in good conditions, but not excessive movement. Although immobilization does not help the regeneration of the cartilage, but vice versa.
Until now, cartilage problems have been treates with analgesics or surgery to replace the damaged joint. There was no therapy, and now stem cell therapy could be the alternative. However, in humans the application of stem cells is limites to the adult cells of the patient itself to prevent the risk of rejection.
Stem cells are cells that can give rise to other cells, capable of regenerating any tissue. Among these types of cells are the hematopoietic stem cells (obtained from the bone marrow) or the mesenchymal stem cells (obtained from the fat, preferably in the abdomen, through a miniliposuction with local anesthesia). Sometimes they are mixes with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in problems of the locomotor system.
Stem cells and platelet-rich plasma contain growth factors such as VEGF and TGF-beta that provide cellular signals and nutrition to help stem cells develop and regenerate damaged cartilage.
Platelet-rich plasma, also known by its English acronym PRP, is a new innovative technique of cell regeneration. That help in the healing process of muscle, ligament and joint injuries.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is obtain through a simple extraction of blood from a patient’s vein, which will be treat to achieve superconcentration of platelets.
In most cases, stem cells and PRP treatments are successful, and they avoid the pain, downtime, and risk associated with major surgery. There have been no reports of serious adverse effects in the scientific literature when using mesenchymal stem cells.
After the treatments, the patient is encourage to use the joint normally. The follow-up of the PRP treatments is given in monthly intervals.
In clinical trials that the use of platelet-rich plasma for knee injuries is effective in improving the functionality and quality of life of the patient in the short term.
On a practical level, the General Hospital of Alicante has been using platelet-rich plasma. Since 2011 to people with sports injuries with cartilage alterations. People with osteoarthritis to avoid prosthesis placement. Every year around 200 people undergo knee cartilage injuries and about 400 people undergo a prosthesis in the operating room.
Dr. Simon Campos states that “cartilage is one of the most complex tissues of the human body to regenerate because it is not irrigates by the blood”. “It has a limited capacity for self-repair when it is damage due to traumatic or degenerative causes”.
The treatment that is applies in this Hospital consists of extracting stem cells from the femur of the patient by means of the arthroscopy technique. The stem cells are ultra concentrate to obtain more quantity and finally they are implant in the damaged area of the cartilage of the knee. The cartilage not only regenerates but also regenerates in its hyaline form, the ideal to prolong the life of the knee.
In addition, it is a simple process since it lasts half an hour, without having to leave the operating room. Administering a local anesthetic or at most a sedation.
In Biosalud we have created a specific department of regenerative medicine . We apply tissue, which regenerates using the umbilicus or bone marrow fat stem cells. Then insert the stem cells into the organ to be treat.
The elite athletes are one of our main clients. Since they turn to us to accelerate the recovery process of muscle injuries. In this sense, we must mention the article that the Marca sports newspaper dedicated to Biosalud.
As you can see in the following video, Biosalud uses regenerative medicine in the regeneration of cartilage. According to the amount of stem cells that we get the joints that need to be treat.
Cartilage regeneration treatment has no contraindication , except in special care, if you are taking anticoagulants. A session is usually sufficient, although it depends on the complexity of the case.
In modern medicine, advances in regenerative medicine occur at great speed. Recently it has been discovers that nasal cartilage is a good substitute for the natural cushioning tissue of the knee.
Researchers from the University Hospital of Basel in Switzerland, took cells from the nasal septum of some goats with damage to the cartilage of the knees. The team added growth factors to increase the number of cells and then grafted this tissue into the knees of the goats. The cartilage was restore and began to resemble the original tissues genetically.