In sports, broken knee is common than broken hearts - sort of. Good thing, our nose provides cells to repair busted joints. Scientists have already gotten the balls rolling two years ago and results were remarkable.
Cartilage is our bones' shock absorber. The cartilage in our joints get the most wear and tear with old age and the brunt of athletic lifestyle. When left untreated, may lead to cartilage breakdown and arthritic degeneration. If worst comes to worst, knee replacement might be the only solution.
Using nasal cartilage cells to repair broken joints had been proven to work when tested with goats. Now it has finally been tested on humans. In fact the cartilage grafts were done to patients 2 years ago.
Researchers at the University of Basel have taken chondrocytes, a cell that has secreted the matrix of cartilage from the noses of 10 patients with damaged knee joints
. They have then grown the cells into cartilage grafts. After that, the grafts were surgically implanted into the patients' knee joints.
Scott Camazine / Photo Researchers Inc.
Now, the patients are seen with improved knee function. Their quality of life has improved and has been free from pain. Indeed, MRI scans have proven that their knee cartilage just looked normal hyaline cartilage - the same material seen in the respiratory tracts and immature skeleton.
The research team published their report last October 20 in The Lancet.
More tests are needed before the team can determine if the technique is ready for a major breakthrough.
Sports fan hope to see their favorite players get back on the game faster should they come to this situation.