By SARA MALM – September 3
A single injection of protein harvested from a patient's own blood may replace the need for knee surgery for osteoarthritis sufferers.
The new 20-minute procedure sees blood drawn from the patient's arm, separated in a centrifuge, after which part of the fluid is then injected into the arthritic knee.
The surgeon who brought the treatment to the UK believes it can stop the need for keyhole surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee altogether.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, particularly affecting people aged 65 and over.
The degenerative condition affects the cartilage – the joint's connective tissue – causing pain, stiffness and inflammation.
A trial study in the Netherlands published earlier this year showed that 85 per cent of patients had little to no pain in their knee six months after new procedure, which is called the NStride Autologous protein injection.
A further, larger, study based on work in Italy, Austria, Belgium and Norway, which has seen similarly positive results, is due to be published later this month.
About 55ml of blood is taken from a vein in the patient's arm, mixed with an anticoagulant and centrifuged at high speed for 15 minutes, causing the blood to separate into three layers – a yellow blood plasma; a red blood cell concentration; and a 'platelet-rich plasma', a solution comprising platelet cells and some white blood cells.