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Bioengineering

Doctors Grow a New Ankle for Injured Policeman

16 years, 1 month ago

1027  0
Posted on Sep 22, 2002, 11 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Orthopedic surgeons in the UK have used a controversial technique known as autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) or articular cartilage transplantation (ACT) to 'grow' a new ankle for a policeman injured in the course of duty. The technique was developed in Sweden 15 years ago, however is only available in a handful of specialist orthopaedic centers.

Orthopedic surgeons in the UK have used a controversial technique known as autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) or articular cartilage transplantation (ACT) to 'grow' a new ankle for a policeman injured in the course of duty. The technique was developed in Sweden 15 years ago, however is only available in a handful of specialist orthopaedic centers. To carry out the procedure, surgeons take healthy cells from the patient and grow them in culture in order to replace damaged cartilage with the new cells. At the same time, a small piece of the lining of the patient's shinbone is removed, sewn onto the healthy cartilage, and then sealed with glue. The cells are then injected back into the joint, eventually the cells attach themselves to bone and grow new cartilage. Many orthopedic surgeons are sceptical about the technique, however preliminary results of Act are producing promising results, and it is hoped that it could eventually be used to help people with osteoarthritis.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.bbc.co.uk on the 19th January 2002

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