'Bone Cement': A Non-Surgical Choice for Joints?

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By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Jan. 11, 2018 (HealthDay Information) — Injecting a calcium-based cement into the bones of some folks with knee or hip ache might assist them keep away from joint alternative surgical procedure, Ohio State College docs say.

The calcium phosphate cement flows into the spongy inside portion of the bone, filling in microfractures and different broken areas, and it hardens in about 10 minutes’ time, stated Dr. Kelton Vasileff, an orthopedic surgeon on the college’s Wexner Medical Heart.

The cement braces the bruised or injured joint bone from the within, Vasileff defined, and finally is changed by new bone as a part of the physique’s pure therapeutic course of.

The process, known as subchondroplasty, has been accessible to folks with knee issues for years, Vasileff stated. Now he and his colleagues are testing to see whether or not hip sufferers can also profit from it.

It’s a lot much less invasive than a knee or hip alternative, and usually is carried out on an outpatient foundation, Vasileff stated.

The process includes a smaller incision than joint alternative surgical procedure, so there’s much less danger of an infection, and a faster restoration time which means fewer of the unwanted side effects related to being bedridden, Vasileff stated.

Nevertheless, subchondroplasty is barely possible in a slender vary of sufferers. These with full-blown bone-on-bone arthritis or joint ache attributable to injury to the cartilage and ligaments will get little to no aid from the process, Vasileff stated.

“Individuals who have vital arthritis the place the cartilage itself is broken and thinned, this is not going to repair the arthritis,” Vasileff stated. “However there are some individuals who could have some points with the bone and delicate arthritis. In these sufferers who would possibly in any other case have wanted a knee or hip alternative to take care of that, this could possibly be another.”

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Software program engineer Ben Wallace underwent subchondroplasty in November to assist shore up a broken hip.

“The top of September I observed I used to be actually struggling to maneuver round my left leg very effectively,” stated Wallace, who lives in Columbus, Ohio. Imaging scans revealed a hip in very dangerous form, with a misshapen femur.


A five-hour surgical procedure cleaned up the femur and bolstered the bone with cement.

“It has been going actually nice. I am higher than what they anticipated. One week after surgical procedure I used to be off the crutches, strolling alone,” Wallace stated.

“I figured I’ll have a pretend hip in there on the age of 30, which was very miserable,” Wallace defined. “The actual fact I used to be capable of hold all my bones and joints in there was fairly a shock.”

Subchondroplasty has proven stable potential, however orthopedic surgeon Dr. Matthew Hepinstall is anxious that it may be “oversold” to determined sufferers who need to keep away from joint alternative surgical procedure.

“The claims which can be being made should not evidence-based but, though they’re intellectually interesting,” stated Hepinstall. He’s affiliate director of the Heart for Joint Preservation & Reconstruction at Lenox Hill Hospital, in New York Metropolis.

“It is simply necessary to not oversell this,” he added.

The most effective candidates for the process are sufferers who nonetheless have some cartilage defending their joint, however have by some means “overloaded” and injured the bone, inflicting swelling and ache, Hepinstall stated.

“For those who inject this substance into the bone, you are mainly offering inside help, a scaffold defending the bone. That may theoretically scale back bone ache,” Hepinstall famous.

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“The interesting factor about it’s as an alternative of stepping into and resurfacing a broken joint, you are injecting one thing to assist the bone, however conserving the affected person’s personal anatomy,” Hepinstall continued.

“However there is a very slender window of sufferers who’re good very best candidates for this, who mainly have an actual overload of their bone inflicting extreme sufficient ache to warrant a surgical process, but additionally have wholesome sufficient cartilage that doing one thing in regards to the bone swelling goes to alleviate nearly all of their ache,” he burdened.

“We do not need to ship the message to individuals who have bone-on-bone, with massive bone spurs and restricted vary of movement that they are unexpectedly going to get aid from injecting just a little little bit of cement into their bone,” Hepinstall stated. “That is for individuals who have mainly a traditional joint that has regular vary of movement and regular stability, just a bit thinning of the cartilage.”

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