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Osteonecrosis treatment 'prevents hip replacements'


A new osteonecrosis treatment could help more patients avoid hip replacements, experts claim.

The procedure involves removing stem cells from the patient’s bone marrow and mixing them with crushed bone from someone who has already undergone hip replacement surgery.

These cells are then inserted back into the joint after an operation to take out the dead and damaged tissue.

People who suffer from osteonecrosis often develop severe arthritis due to bone damage caused by poor blood supply.

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Doug Dunlop, who helped to develop the new treatment at Southampton General Hospital, said the response among patients had been positive.

“Although this work is still ongoing, several patients who have had the procedure have reacted very well and, if we get the results we are hoping for, these patients won’t need to have their hip joints replaced - they should be fixed completely.”

Musculoskeletal specialist Professor Richard Oreffo at the University of Southampton worked with Mr Dunlop to create the procedure.

He said: “By using stem cells to send out chemical signals to blood vessels, we hope the body will continue to create new vessels in the hip which supply enough nutrients to maintain bone strength.”


Readers' comments (4)

  • This is brilliant news. Having lived with my husband for the last 14 years after he was diagnosed I know how this condition affects everything in his life. The obvious pain, lack of mobility, sleep problems to name just a handful of problems. It seems that the orthos are more comfortable treating arthritis than this condition, due to the young age it can commence and the longevity of it, there is no adequate pain control, and they have no real understandingof the condition or the patient! Hopefully, they will take note of this research and go forward with it.

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  • Ellen Watters

    Osteonecrosis of the jaw occurs in some patients taking bisphosphonates. I wonder if this will help them too.

    hmmm interesting.

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  • Ellen Watters... yes!: This article doesn't state the cause of osteonecrosis, and bisphosphonates seem to have a lot to answer for. Does anyone have more information of this article?

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  • This could be great news for people who need hip implants in the future, especially if it is less invasive. Right now, metal hip implants are a huge medical concern so new methods might ultimately be a better solution.

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