Many people suffer from osteonecrosis, the most common form of arthritis that originates in the hip. In the UK alone, records showed that there are approximately 4000 people suffering from this disease. Osteonecrosis is caused by poor blood supply in the bones leading to arthritis. It affects people from 30 to 50 years old. Though it can be treated using various drugs, researchers are still trying their best to come up with an effective treatment to put an end to it.
Researchers from Southampton General Hospital in Hampshire pioneered a procedure involving stem cells. They extract stem cells from the patient’s bone marrow which they later use in filling the hole made after all the dead and damaged tissues are removed.
This unique stem cell procedure was developed by Doug Dunlop who is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Southampton General Hospital and Southampton University Professor Richard Oreffo who is a specialist in musculoskeletal science.
According to Mr. Dunlop, the work is still ongoing but patients who underwent the procedure said it works remarkably well and in case they’ll be able to obtain the results they’re after, their hip joints will be completely fixed.
Meanwhile, Professor Oreffo said that stem cells can help create new vessels in the hip which are capable of supplying the necessary nutrients to help maintain the natural strength of bones.