Cartilage repair is the largest unmet need in orthopedic sports medicine today. When there is substantial damage to the cartilage, it may be difficult for the body's own cells to heal the damage since cartilage has very little blood supply and does not heal well on its own. Patients with cartilage damage usually experience pain, stiffness and inflammation in their joint. Athletic people have a higher risk of suffering from articular damage, especially those involved in high impact sports, such as skiing or running. If left untreated, damaged cartilage can lead to long-term, irreversible joint damage.
The current standard of care for cartilage damage is microfracture surgery. During the surgery, small holes are made in the bone underneath the cartilage defect to allow a blood clot to form. The problem with microfracture surgery is that it may result in the formation of fibrocartilage (a weaker type of cartilage), rather than hyaline cartilage (the body's own cartilage). As a result, unfortunately, this approach often provides only short-term relief and also may require repeated surgeries.
A clinical trial for GelrinC, an investigational implant that may help the body regrow cartilage in the knee, is underway across the U.S. GelrinC's unique mode of action allows it to be implanted as a liquid so that it completely fills the cartilage defect in the knee, and then can be cured into a gel that enables the body's own stem cells to settle on its surface. Over a period of 6-12 months, GelrinC is gradually absorbed by the body and replaced by new cartilage tissue. The results of a preliminary clinical trial in Europe have indicated that this regenerated tissue provides excellent improvement in pain and function.
If you are between 18 and 50 years of age and have pain in only one knee caused by damaged articular cartilage, you may be eligible to participate in the clinical trial. If you would like to be considered for the study, visit www.mykneestudy.com or call (833) 430-8686. Patients go home soon after the surgery, which only requires a small incision, and can resume daily activities within 8-10 weeks. Everyone who qualifies will receive GelrinC treatment from a board-certified orthopedic surgeon in their area.