Stem Cells: Hip Preservation and Regeneration
In patients who have early focal or partial area wear and tear in the hip joint with loss of articular cartilage on one side of the joint (usually the outer socket area), it may be possible to consider joint preservation surgery with a cartilage patch utilising the latest regenerative techniques.
During hip arthroscopy in order to take away the cam lesion and stabilise the articular cartilage, we may be able to treat the area with microfracture of the hip and to cover the area with a synthetic membrane (synthetic collagen from porcine/pig material). We can then implant this with a layer seeded with the patients own bone marrow cells to provide some cover of the area to improve the life of your hip joint.
This is known as Autologous Matrix Implant Chondrogenesis (AMIC) and Bone Marrow Stem Cell Therapy (BMAC) with Collagen Scaffold for Cartilage Regeneration surgery.
The operation takes about two hours, recovery is about three months and I have quoted chances of helping to reduce the pain immediately from 7/10 to 3/10 but
there is a risk that if fairly diffuse arthritis that is not completely appreciated on the scans is present, the pateint may end up having a hip replacement within a couple of years afterwards.
The advantage of this approach is that we at least make an attempt to keep your own hip.
This surgery including the membrane, microfracture and bone marrow cells have been in use for over 10 years with good published results of 5 years showing better than microfracture alone.
Complications include potential membrane shearing off, the microfracture not working and infection of 1%.
There have been no reported adverse effects of the membrane as it does not have any cells and we use the patients own cells for the cartilage regeneration.
If the area of damage is more diffuse, the hip may develop full blown arthritis and at which point you may need a total hip replacement.