Friday, May 30, 2008
Medical Reports: Knees
For anyone who's experienced a knee injury, you know all too well that torn cartilage in the knee can be painful and often times difficult to repair. But in today's Healthcast, Seven's Christine Cruz shows us how a new device is helping those hard-to-treat tears literally heal themselves.
WSVN -- Tackling, pivoting, cutting. Playing college football is hard on the body. Starting right guard, number 78, Kurtis Gregory, knows that all too well.
Kurtis Gregory: "My rear end hit the floor, and I just kinda felt something that didn't seem right."
Gregory tore his meniscus, the cushion of cartilage in the knee that provides padding and stability to the joint.
Kurtis Gregory: "I couldn't even walk to practice."
And torn menisci are often difficult to repair, and doctors are sometimes forced to remove the damaged cartilage entirely, resulting in joint pain that can lead to arthritis. But now researchers have found a way to help torn menisci heal themselves. Veterinary doctor Jimi Cook has been testing a new device called a bio-duct in some furry knees.
Jimi Cook, DVM, Ph.D., University of Missouri: "Dogs' knees and human knees are really comparable both in the problem that occurs and the way that we treat them."
Together, Dr. Cook and Dr. Kane conducted research that led to the FDA's approval of bio-duct in humans. Bio-duct works by carrying cells and blood from the outer part of the meniscus to the actual site of the tear.
Jimi Cook: "We're actually kind of plumbing the meniscus. The cells and the blood supply to allow them to heal is just not there in that tissue, so this device actually brings that in a directed manner."
Also, the device is bio-absorbent, which means patients don't have to undergo another procedure to have it removed. Doctors say that with adequate blood supply, a meniscus tear can now heal itself completely, in less than 12 weeks, getting everyone back on their feet.
Dr. Kane says the bio-duct is ready to be used to treat human meniscus tears and will be widely available within the next few months.