Surgeons conduct north India’s first cartilage transplant

Sunday, November 13, 2011

New Delhi: Vineet Tomar, a 21-year-old engineer from the capital, would now be able to walk again after doctors at a hospital here on Sunday performed a cartilage surgery on him — a first for north India.

Dr Raju Vaishya

“The patient suffered a knee injury and was on the verge of losing mobility. Doctors conducted a cartilage surgery where we obtained cartilage cells (cells that make up the tissues) from a healthy part and re-implanted them into the patient’s injured part after harvesting them in a culture lab,” said Dr Raju Vaishya, senior consultant, orthopaedic and joint replacement department at Apollo Hospitals.

The cells were sent to a laboratory for cultivation and multiplication before being transplanted back to the patient’s injured joints for healing. The surgery was performed live at the first Congress of Indian Cartilage Society.

Doctors said it was the first cartilage transplant in north India.

The cost of the surgery is around Rs 3 lakh.

According to experts, the surgery also helps in treating early arthritis — another joint-related disorder.

“For people in the age group 15-45, reasons for this surgery could be injury, zero physical activity, and even osteoporosis. So this is a move over joint replacement, where we are not using artificial joints, and help healing with the patient’s own body tissues,” Dr Raju Vaishya explained.

“Cartilage regeneration and transplantation is the new hope and it shall postpone the onset of osteoarthritis in young patients,” Dr Raju Vaishya added.

The post-operative care includes physiotherapy and exercise under guidance. Since the cartilage has been grown from the patient’s own cells, there is no foreign material implanted and thus no chances of rejection. [Source: IANS]

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