A new treatment for severe orthopedic injuries to the extremities was developed. New therapy for orthopedic patients involves the use of modified stem cells obtained from fat or bone marrow. The new treatment, thought Martina Hauser-Schinhan from the University Department of Orthopaedics at the Meduna Vienna, prevent amputations and bone shortening, which are common complications of the current treatment of bone lesions.
Treatment of bone defects of various causes remains a difficult problem to handle and a challenge for orthopedic surgeons. There are multiple methods, varied and relatively complicated, which can be used to repair bone lesions. Of these, it is worth mentioning various bone grafts (autografts, allografts, xenografts), biomaterials and bone substitutes, each method having its strengths and drawbacks.
The new treatment involves using the body’s own stem cells found in fat or bone marrow, containing some genes responsible for promoting bone healing (BMP2). The technique is relative simple. These autologous stem cells, genetically modified, are imbedded in a fibrin gel that is applied between the two bone ends. What is surprising is that healing occurs in a few weeks. The new technique, that can also be used in cases where there are large bone defects (such as those after excision of bone tumors) was used in vivo and now is to be tested in clinical trials.