No need to replace natural cartilage of the joints, it can be regenerated, say experts

If the doctors at Indian Cartilage Society (ICS) are to be believed, osteoarthritis patients will not have to go through painful surgeries of their defective knee, hip, ankle and shoulder joints to get it replaced. The joints damages can now be repaired, which will be made possible through cartilage regeneration and restoration technologies.

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.

He said cartilage specialists from India and abroad will be deliberating on these path-breaking technologies at the 5th International Congress of Indian Cartilage Society, to be held on December 7 and 8 in Jaipur.

Around 200 cartilage specialists are expected to deliberate on cartilage regeneration and restoration techniques.

He told the Presidential theme of the year 2018 is “Regeneration is better than Replacement”, which emphasises 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 Dr. Bruce Reider, Dr. Jacek Walwaski and Dr. 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 fibres, proteoglycan, and elastin fibres.

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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