Times of India
New cell therapy can help avert knee replacement
Mumbai : In the three years that he was bedridden due to painfully swollen knees, Malad resident Mohammed Mustaq Sheikh would never have imagined that one day doctors would 'grow' a new knee for him. But a city doctor has done just that with the help of a cell-based technology available in South Korea.
Sheikh, an electrician by trade, has recently started walking on his own and says he hasn't been "so happy'' in a long time. Most importantly, he says, he can start working again instead of depending on his brother, an AC mechanic, for sustenance.
His 'new knee' was grown from his own cartilage cells.Orthopedic surgeon Dr Dinshaw Pardiwala from Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Andheri (W) performed a biopsy on Sheikh's knee late last year and took a few cells from around his damaged cartilage. "The cells were multiplied hundred times over in a laboratory in South Korea over four weeks. The regrown cells were then transplanted back on the injured part of his cartilage on December 30th said Dr. Pardiwala.
Cell therapy could be boon for athletes
A procedure that allows new cells to be grown from cartilage cells could be a boon for sportsmen with torn or damaged cartilage, as well as those who suffer due to drug abuse or traumatic injuries resulting from improper exercising practice. The technique can be used to mend any traumatised joints, be it the knee, hip or shoulders, say doctors at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital , Andheri.
Besides Malad resident Mohammed Mustaq Sheikh, two other patients have also undergone the autologous chondrocyte implantation/transplantation. "Both are doing extremely well, and we have identified several other patients who want to undergo this treatment,'' said Dr Dinshaw Pardiwala of Ambani Hospital .
The 'cell regrowing' or regenerative technique, which started some 20 years ago, is practised in clinics worldwide, but it's only recently that India has got hold of its latest version. Moreover, a Mumbaibased company called Regenerative Medical Services Pvt Ltd will inaugurate its special laboratory for cell regeneration in Lonavla in June.
"Once our laboratory is operational, it will cost patients only Rs. 1.5 lakh,'' says Satyen Sanghavi of RMS. In the UK and the US , where the technique is commonly used, it costs Rs. 15 lakh.
According to Dr Pardiwala, the USP of the regenerative technique is the fact that it arrests the patient's descent into permanent disability and obviates expensive replacement surgeries."Sheikh would have needed knee replacement if it weren't for this cell therapy,'' he says.