Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition affecting joints. A smooth, slippery, fibrous connective tissue, called articular cartilage, acts as a protective cushion between bones. Arthritis develops as the cartilage begins to deteriorate and the joint space between the bones marrows. With time the cartilage thins, becoming grooved and fragmented. The surrounding bones react by growing outward and form spurs. The synovium (a membrane that produces a thick fluid that helps nourish the cartilage and keep it slippery) becomes inflamed and thickened.
It may produce extra fluid, resulting in joint swelling. In severe cases, when the articular cartilage is gone, the thickened bone ends can rub against each other and wear away. This results in severe pain and deformity of the joint.
Arthritis is the most common chronic musculoskeletal disorder. As an age-related condition, about 20% of elderly patients suffer from OA and a significant portion of them are afflicted seriously enough to be considered disabled. There are currently no cures for this condition. Other cartilage defects can be due to trauma and gout.
In general, treatment options fall into four major groups: Health and exercise; drug therapies for pain relief, glucosamine and/or chondroitin sulfate; intra-articular injections; and surgery such as arthroscopy, osteotomy, arthroplasty and total knee replacement which are reserved for the most severe cases. Newer methods including taking out some mature cartilage cells from the affected joint, expanding them in a lab and transplanting them back but the results are not consistent. Latest methods consist of using bone marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) to form immature cartilage cells for more effective regeneration and repair of articular cartilage.
For patient with osteoarthritis or other cartilage defects due to trauma and gout whom had exhausted all available treatment options and ineligible or refused surgery, Chondrocell® may help to improve pain and restore daily functions by generating new hyaline cartilage cells that are tensile and functional. This treatment, unlike preparations of cultured mature cartilage cells, have significantly more cartilage regeneration potential to restore hyaline cartilage which has degenerated at the site of a patient's affected joint.
In studies using cells identical to Chondrocell® for OA compared to mature cartilage cell implants, medicines and joint injections, patients benefited from pain relief and greater mobility. Imaging studies showed healing of the cartilage defect as early as 6 weeks post-implantation and complete healing by 12 to 24 weeks. The effects were long-lasting and the need for joint replacements could be deferred.
Generally if you are experiencing severe pain and swelling of your knee or hip joint that is limiting your mobility and quality of life, then you may be eligible for Chondrocell® treatment.