A new way to repair damaged joints – using stem cells.
The normal tendon, when we repair it, heals with scar tissue. That’s where the stem cells come in. Instead of scar tissue taking over, the hope is that the stem cells, which have the ability to differentiate, will help generate more normal anatomy.
Dr Verma: “That means if we need them to become a tendon, they become a tendon. If we need them to become a bone cell, they become a bone cell or a blood vessel cell.”
Stem cells, harvested on the spot from bone marrow in the hip, are used in the surgery. Hematopoietic (blood) stem cells are found in the bone marrow. Umbilical cord blood is a rich source of hematopoietic stem cells. Cells from any of these sources can be used in transplants.