Chennai: A 32-year-old woman who suffered ligament tear and cartilage damage due to a freak mishap in a gym and a road accident subsequently, had a ‘miraculous’ recovery when a city orthopedic surgeon resorted to stem cell to reconstruct her ligament besides repair the cartilage on her left knee in a single operation.
“It was a single-stage procedure. One ML of bone marrow concentrate was mixed with fibrin to trigger the healing process and regenerate the cartilage. This stem cell augmented Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction and single stage cartilage repair helps to preserve the patient’s knee and averts the possibility of her developing arthritis 10 years later,” said Dr A.K. Venkatachalam, Orthopedic Surgeon at Chennai Meenakshi multi-specialty hospital here on Wednesday.
He had earlier successfully used stem cells to address problems of knee replacement and chronic shoulder pain in four patients including a male from Maldives earlier this year. “The aim is to pave way for effective use of stem cells to regenerate the damaged tissue quickly and also to minimise hospitalisation period,” he told this correspondent.
He is documenting the cases to highlight the use of stem cells to address ortho problems of people and help the younger generations live with their natural knee rather than opt for replacement surgery. This is the first time two surgical procedures - arthroscopic ACL reconstruction and arthroscopic single stage cartilage repair with stem cells were combined in one sitting for patient’s benefit, he said.
“I fell down while walking on the treadmill in 2012 at gym to reduce weight post-delivery and hurt my knee. Later on, I sustained severe injury when I fell from by husband’s bike while pillion riding and as a result had difficulty in walking,” said Shilpa from Vizag.
She was operated in February this year and discharged the following day. She is currently undergoing physiotherapy.