Surgeons conduct north India’s first cartilage transplant

November 13th, 2011 - 10:27 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 13 (IANS) Vineet Tomar, a 21-year-old engineer from the capital, would now be able to walk again after doctors at a hospital here Sunday performed a cartilage surgery on him — a first for north India.

“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 Raju Vaishya, senior consultant, orthopedic and joint replacement department at Apollo Hospital.

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,” Vaishya explained.

“Cartilage regeneration and transplantation is the new hope and it shall postpone the onset of osteo-arthritis in young patients,” he 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.

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