Stem cells used to regrow damaged knee cartilage in world-first

Published: 29 February 2016

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Melbourne medical experts will conduct world-first trials involving the use of stem cells to regrow damaged knee cartilage, making the need for joint replacement surgery unnecessary.

Doctors involved claim the procedure has ceased damage caused by degenerative conditions and has even reversed it.

Early results revealed patients treated at Melbourne Stem Cell Centre saw a three-quarter reduction in pain, plus improved knee function.

Seventy patients were involved in the trial, with the main focus to reduce the need for hip, knee and joint replacements.

Of those 70 patients, 30 were given either stem cell treatment or a placebo, to see whether the cells halted damage or even rebuilt the knee.

The study of another 40 patients with isolated cartilage lesions aimed to define whether cells could stop normal joint deterioration.

While the full results are yet to be published, initial results revealed two-thirds of patients had experienced at least a 50 percent reduction in knee pain and movement restriction.

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