Dr. Barry Solcher discussed the future of Orthopedics.
People come in with really severe Arthritis, the whole knee is basically worn out. There is not any normal cartilage left on the knee. That is a difficult proposition because we do not have a way to rebuild cartilage on large surfaces. We have ways to put new cartilage on small areas.
Cartilage is a very specialized structure. It takes a lot of wear and tear and it is a living structure. In the past we have had trouble stimulating the cartilage to repair itself. We are doing things now to help rebuild the cartilage such as using stem cells from your own body either from marrow or fat cells and taking those stem cells and trying to stimulate them to make cartilage and using those cartilage cells to rebuild your knee.
This is going to be for people that have had fairly early Arthritis or have had injuries to their knee and we know certain injuries to the knees such as big losses of cartilage over time are going to cause Arthritis. So if we can prevent that early with rebuilding the knee and using your own cartilage cells to do it, that is going to be a very big positive in the long term for knee replacements.