These days I write so many articles that it is hard even for me to keep up with the articles that I write but I had found an article on the boards that showed that one of the techniques and methods I had mentioned maybe yesterday has actually been implemented in surgery to heal and regrow a patient’s leg bone.
The Post where I had originally talked about this particular method and new technique named appropriately “An Alternative To Limb Lengthening Surgery” is located HERE. The article on the actual technique implementation can be found from Sky News so click HERE .
Sky News Exclusive: Groundbreaking stem cell technique used to repair and lengthen bones
– Please note that any quotes used from the interview must credit Sky News in full –
Sky News has spoken exclusively to a British woman who underwent groundbreaking stem cell surgery after her leg was badly broken in a hit and run accident. Sky News cameras were granted exclusive access to film the world-first operation at Spire Alexandra Hospital in Kent, which saw surgeons use the patient’s own stem cells to repair the damage – and lengthen her leg.
Diane Stuttard was hit by a car while walking home after a night out in 2001. Her left tibia and fibula – her lower leg bones – were badly broken and she faced having her leg amputated after 11 failed operations. Diane contacted Orthopaedic surgeon Mr Anan Shetty after seeing a Sky News report about an earlier operation where he used stem cells to save the leg of a climber.
The pioneering operation saw surgeons remove the dead tissue then clamp Diane’s shinbone back together. A sample of bone marrow was taken from her pelvis and stem cells were purified. These were mixed with Surgifill, a unique gel that traps the cells against the fracture. Within days they start to form healthy new bone, healing the break.
To lengthen Diane’s leg surgeons cut into a healthy section of bone, injected more stem cells into the break, and used a hi-tech scaffold to gently pull apart the bone so that it grows one centimetre a month. It is the first time the combination of stem cells, Surgifill and the leg lengthening technique have been used anywhere in the world.
Diane Stuttard told Sky News: “I was advised to have the leg amputated by the surgeon in Leeds, but thankfully I said I wanted to wait until I had exhausted all avenues. I’m glad I did because this stem cell technique has come up and now it’s my chance to get it right.”
Speaking to Sky News, Diane’s Orthopaedic surgeon Mr Anan Shetty said: “I am confident the fracture will join up. We managed to cut out all the dead bone and get into bleeding bone, which means that it is healthy. We also managed to use stem cells that will stimulate the bone to grow quicker.”
Surgeons will have to wait 18 months before they can be sure that Diane’s bones have properly healed.
Sky News Health Correspondent Thomas Moore added: ‘’We are at the beginning of a new age of regenerative medicine, and orthopaedics is in the frontline. A few surgeons are now experimenting with techniques to repair damage – rather than replacing it with a man-made structure. So patients’ own stem cells are being used to heal complex fractures. And they’re being used to regenerate cartilage, so patients don’t need a knee replacement. It’s a very exciting technique.”
Me: What was amazing from the article that stuck out for me was that the doctors managed to increase the women’s leg bone by injecting stem cells. It did not say how her surrounding tissues was also increased in length specifically the muscle. I want to do more research into the material called Surgill which was used to trap the cells. The most important part of the article was
“To lengthen Diane’s leg surgeons cut into a healthy section of bone, injected more stem cells into the break, and used a hi-tech scaffold to gently pull apart the bone so that it grows one centimetre a month. It is the first time the combination of stem cells, Surgifill and the leg lengthening technique have been used anywhere in the world.”
My question is what was the scaffold the doctors used for support? I would guess that it was an appratus similar to the braces used in the traditional limb lengthening surgery which holds the two broken leg bone pieces in the right position so the healing process does not disfigure the patient. The last phrase was very assuring too with ” And they’re being used to regenerate cartilage, so patients don’t need a knee replacement. It’s a very exciting technique”