Natural Cartilage of Joints can be Regenerated and Need not be Replaced: Experts

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MUMBAI:
With advances in cartilage regeneration and restoration technologies, it will be made possible to repair defective knee, hip, ankle and shoulder joints rather than being necessarily replaced.

Dr (Prof) Raju Vaishya, president of Indian Cartilage Society (ICS) said that the new techniques of cartilage regeneration and restoration had kindled hope that knee and other joints which become defective and worn out because of osteoarthritis (OA) and other causes may not be required to get replaced. Instead, natural joints may get repaired and rejuvenated through these new medical techniques.

Dr Raju Vaishya said that cartilage specialists from India and abroad will be deliberating on these path-breaking technologies at a congress, which gets underway at Jaipur this week under the auspices of Indian Cartilage Society (ICS). The 5th International Congress of ICS is going to be held on December 7 and 8 in Jaipur, where around 200 cartilage specialists will deliberate on cartilage regeneration and restoration techniques.

He told that his Presidential theme of the year 2018 is “Regeneration is better than Replacement” emphasizes the fact that it is vital to preserve the natural joint by regenerating one’s tissue rather than replacing it with the artificial joint. It becomes much more relevant in the younger people, who have joint pains due to cartilage damage or arthritis. Cartilage regeneration techniques have developed in the recent past, which can help to develop the natural cartilage and thus avoid or postpone the need for joint replacement.

Dr Saurabh Mathur, organising secretary of this congress, said experts from the country and abroad, including US, Britain, Poland, Hungary, Iraq, Iran, Bangladesh, Nepal and Afghanistan, are participating in this Congress. World-renowned specialists like Drs Bruce Reider, Jacek Walwaski and Raji will be the key speakers at the conference where specialists will be deliberating on techniques like articular cartilage implantation, stem cells therapy and scaffold.

According to Dr Nishith Shah, Past President of ICS, the Cartilage is an important structural component of the body, which is a firm tissue but is softer and much more flexible than the bone. Cartilage is made up of specialized cells called chondrocytes, and these cells produce large amounts of extracellular matrix composed of collagen fibers, proteoglycan, and elastin fibers.

Dr Deepak Goyal said that cartilage tissue’s ability to repair itself is severely limited because it does not contain blood vessels, and bleeding is necessary for healing. Several techniques have been used for cartilage regeneration. While some of these are being used today, researchers continue to look into newer ways to regrow cartilage in an attempt to give people relief from the pain of osteoarthritis (OA) and to live with their natural joints, as far as possible.

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