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Stem cell treatment saves man's leg

A rock climbing enthusiast who faced amputation after breaking his leg in five places while climbing in the Lake District has undergone revolutionary stem cell treatment to save his leg.

Andrew Kent faced losing his leg following a horrific accident earlier this year in which a large boulder fell on him as he climbed in the Langdale Pikes.

After undergoing initial surgery at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle to pin the bones back together, he was then transferred to the private Spire Alexandra Hospital in Chatham, Kent. He was seen by orthopaedic surgeon Anan Shetty, who performed a new treatment that involved extracting stem cells from bone marrow in Mr Kent’s hip and mixing them with a collagen gel to form a mouldable paste which could be inserted into the fractures in his leg.

Speaking after the removal of the metal cage that had held Mr Kent’s leg in place for six months, Mr Shetty said: “He has really surprised us. He won’t be able to run for about a year, but after 18 months his bones will have healed completely.

“I’m sure he’ll be able to go back and rock climb again.”

Mr Shetty will carry out the technique on around 30 patients before submitting his results to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

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