Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Regenerative Medicine For Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a type of arthritis that occurs when the flexible tissue at the ends of the bones wears out. This is a very challenging disease, with really limited treatment options. Traditional therapies relieve pain but do not repair the physical damage done. But, of late, research is providing very promising new alternatives and Regenerative Medication is one such. Some of the more  widely used methods are:


This has been in use since 1980 and offers long term solution in repair, regeneration and possible delay of progression of OA. Called the Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation / Transplantation (ACI / ACT) it involves three steps. First a small mass of healthy tissue is collected from a healthy area, then a type of cell called the Chondrocytes are removed, isolated and cultured to generate enough cells for reimplantation in the damaged area in an open knee procedure. 

Bone Marrow-derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell (BM-MSCs) is now considered a more attractive method as this type of stem cell can be collected more easily from bone marrow and other areas. All other steps remain the same.

Overall MSC based therapy has been found to be more effective in reducing pain and improving the function of OA patients.


This involves the use of cells, support structures and biologically active factors to enhance mechanical properties of tissues; promote cell migration and growth of the desired cell types. The idea being to rebuild/repair the damage from the cell upwards. While these methods are new, there is hope for the future.


This is the molecular method of replacing defective or absent genes, or counteracting the effects of increased quantity of genes. This therapy enables control and consistent production of gene products in the desired area and several preclinical studies have confirmed its efficacy and safety. There are three methods: Gene Isolation, Gene Manipulation and Gene Transfer. The most common method involves replacing an abnormal gene with a normal one; others involve gene repair and changing how a gene is turned on or off. This can take place either inside or outside a patient’s body. However, outside is preferred as it is much safer.

If you are an OA patient or diagnosed as one, and would like a second opinion, may we suggest consulting with Dr. Vineeth M. B., M.B.B.S., MS (Ortho) of Regencare, Cochin, Kerala. While he specialises in sports medicine and trauma, he has a passion for research in newer areas of science with particular interest in regenerative medicine.

He can be contacted at:
Opp. Rock House Tourist Home,
NH Byepass, Vennala P.O.,
Cochin, Kerala, India.
Pin: 682028.
Phone:  + 91 73065 67548
Email :

Blog reviewed by: Dr Vineeth MB
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Wednesday, 15 July 2020

What happens if osteoarthritis is left untreated?

You may dismiss the constant stiffness or pain in the knees and hips as ordinary signs of ageing. But what you may not realize is that these can be the symptoms of a deteriorating condition of the joint called Osteoarthritis. This condition occurs when the cartilage of our weight bearing joints slowly wears away bringing the bones to rub together. Although it is more common in the elderly, the young and middle aged group is also prone to osteoarthritis. If medical intervention is given at the right time as soon as the symptoms develop, this condition can be managed successfully. If you choose to ignore the pain, you could be setting yourself up for much more serious complications like:

  • Damage to the tendons and ligaments of the joint
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Curved out knees (bow-legged appearance)
  • New growth on the ends of the bones called bone spurs which causes severe pain
  • Infection in the joint called Septic Arthritis 
  • Osteonecrosis, i.e. break down and death of bone cells due to poor blood supply

To avoid these complications, it is very important to consult an expert orthopaedic to diagnose and treat osteoarthritis at its early stage and undergo monitoring regularly.

Blog reviewed by: Dr Vineeth MB
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