For all those who are having knee problems and are considering knee replacements, or another procedure which might be of interest (and if it really works, it could be a wonderful thing to consider). So listen up guys and gals: If you have any problems with your knees, read on—this may be of some help. The Gothenburg Medical Center in Sweden has the answer to this radical treatment. There is hope, according to Doctor Lars Peterson of the Gothenburg Medical Center. Here is what he told me!
Q: When did you start research on your cartilage replacement procedure for knees?
A: We started experimenting on animals, at first, to make sure the cartilage would adhere to the bone underlying the cartilage. Then, in 1987, we performed the first transplants of cartilage cells into patients’ knees.
Q: What is cartilage?
A: It’s a thin layer of tough, opaque tissue which covers the bone endings where they meet at the joints, and it acts as a shock absorber. Once damaged, it does not repair itself—that’s where we come in.
Q: How do you remove the cartilage from the knee?
A: We surgically remove a tiny amount of the patient’s healthy cartilage and take it to the laboratory where it is treated with a tissue culture technique so that it will multiply. After sufficient cartilage cells have grown in the laboratory, they are surgically transplanted back into the knee.
Q: How can you tell if someone qualifies for this procedure?
A: After you do an arthroscopy, MRI or X-Ray, you can determine whether there is sufficient cartilage for our procedure. If the injuries to the knee are too advanced and there is not enough cartilage left, the only thing that can be done is a total replacement.
Q: Are they doing this in the United States?
A: Yes. We are collaborating with the Genzyme Tissue Repair group based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and they have a list of doctors. So, readers, if you think you can benefit by this new technique to repair knee damage, here’s the phone number of the U.S. company: (800) 232-7546.
Unfortunately, this writer needs a total knee replacement. We understand, however, that this procedure is now being done by certain doctors in California. This is no Halloween joke!