NeoCart: Pothole Surgery Fixes Knees


LOS ANGELES. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Clinical trials for a new way to repair cartilage damage in the knee are in phase three, and showing promising results. The current standard treatment, micro fracture, involves making small holes in the bone, which will create a hybrid cartilage that may break down over time. Doctors are using a patient’s own cartilage to make the fix.

Bjorn Borrell isn’t quite ready to play basketball yet, but a few months after the NeoCart procedure, he’s feeling strong.

Borrell told Ivanhoe, “I have no pain. From what I’m doing right now in PT, everything is fine. The knee’s not swollen. I have great mobility in it. I can walk. I can do hiking.”  Borrell had a small area of damage, or a pothole, in the articular cartilage of his knee, that’s the shiny tissue between the femur and shin bone that allows smooth joint movement. Borrell’s was causing pain and swelling.

It sent him to Robert Grumet, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at Hoag Orthopedic Institute in Los Angeles, California, who’s running a trial on the NeoCart autologous tissue implant.

“We are harvesting their cartilage and growing it in a lab and then reimplanting that cartilage in a patient where they’re missing a piece of cartilage,” detailed Dr. Grumet. (Read Full Interview)

After the cartilage cells grow in the lab for six weeks, doctors trim the new tissue implant to fit in the hole and secure it with a bio adhesive.

“If we can recreate the normal anatomy that the function will improve, the patient’s long-term outcome could improve, we could delay the onset of arthritis in that knee long term,” said Dr. Grumet.

Borrell still has some work to do to get his knee to fully function, but he and Dr. Grumet agree he’s well on the way.

The NeoCart clinical trial will include 245 patients and is 75 percent full. Candidates must be between 18 and 59 years old and have pain in one knee. If you want to see if you qualify, call 855-552-5633.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Wendy Chioji, Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor; Rusty Reed, Videographer.



TOPIC:       Neocart: Pothole Surgery Fixes Knees

REPORT:   MB #4199


BACKGROUND: An articular cartilage is a smooth, firm and durable white tissue that covers the ends of bones where they come together, forming joints. A healthy cartilage allows for a smooth and painless mobility of joints, like the knees. Cartilage damage can be caused by exercise, injuries, and even daily wear. Damage to the articular cartilage of the knee can lead to potholes. The symptoms may not appear for some time, but when they do they are normally pain, aching, swelling, locking, and loss of knee function. Because the cartilage has no blood supply the healing process is difficult and the cartilage has no capacity to repair itself.

TREATMENT: The current treatment for damaged cartilage is a procedure called a microfracture, where tiny fractures in the cartilage are performed. This procedure allows for blood and bone marrow to transport into the defected area, allowing the cartilage to form a type of hybrid and to heal. This process lacks the durability of the original cartilage and failure rates keep increasing with time.

NEW TECHNOLOGY: Orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Robert Grumet, is running a trial for NeoCart implants. The doctor takes a sample of the patient’s own cartilage. The tissue sample, or biopsy, is treated and placed under special conditions that allows for cell growth, organization and tissue formation after six weeks. This technology creates a cartilage tissue implant from the patient themselves. The NeoCart implants can be trimmed so it fits in the injury site. By recreating the patient’s normal anatomy, the patient’s long-term outcomes improve. The NeoCart trial will include 450 patients and it is currently 75 percent full.
(Source: Dr. Robert Grumet)


James Chisum

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Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Robert Grumet, M.D.

Read the entire Q&A