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U.K. surgeons optimistic about hip treatment

British surgeons have developed a stem cell procedure that they hope will prevent a condition commonly leading to hip joint replacement.

According to a report in The Independent, the procedure involves extracting stem cells from the bone marrow of patients in need of hip repair due to osteonecrosis, a condition where poor blood supply causes significant bone damage leading to severe arthritis.

While hip replacement surgery generally has a high rate of success, it can also be problematic based on the type of hip implant used.

Thousands of patients who received an all-metal hip implant manufactured by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics required another replacement operation within a few years because of that model’s high early failure rate. Another common problem for the DePuy implant concerned metal debris breaking off and getting into patients’ soft tissues.

According to The Independent report, surgeons carrying out the new procedure mix the extracted cells with cleaned, crushed bone from another patient who has had his or her own hip replaced. Surgeons use the mix to fill the hole left after dead and damaged tissue has been removed from the joint.

The idea is to use the stem cells to send out chemical signals to blood vessels, thus prompting the body to continue creating new blood vessels in the hip and supplying enough nutrients to maintain bone strength.

If you’ve received a DePuy implant, you should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns. If you have significant injuries, you should also consult with a lawyer familiar with the DePuy hip implant case to discuss your legal rights.

See the report here:

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/stem-cell-hope-for-hip-replacement-procedure-7793697.html