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Emerging Techniques Put a New Twist on Ankle Repair
Date:7/1/2009

Using cells grown in a lab, new treatments eliminate risks of traditional procedures

ROSEMONT, Ill., July 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- People with ankle injuries who do not respond successfully to initial treatment may have a second chance at recovery, thanks to two new procedures developed to restore the injured area, according to a study published in the July 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS).

The study reviews emerging techniques that have proven successful in treating injuries to the talus, the small bone, which is located between the heel bone and the lower bones of the leg. The talus helps form the ankle joint.

Although most injuries to the talus can be successfully treated using traditional "first-line" therapies involving removal of dead tissue (called "debridement") and drilling, about one-fifth to one-quarter of people with ankle injuries need additional "second-line" restorative treatment to heal successfully, said lead author Matthew Mitchell, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon in private practice in Casper, Wyoming.

The two new techniques rely on cells grown in a lab, and eliminate the need for ostetomy (cutting the bone of the tibia) in some cases, he said.

  • Autologous chondorcyte implantation, or ACI, involves removing cartilage cells from the knee or the ankle and growing them in a lab. Once grown, the cartilage is transplanted to the talus. ACI usually involves an ostetomy in order to implant the cells.
  • In matrix-induced autologous chondrocyte implantation, or MACI, cells are grown on a special backing material, or "matrix," and then tran
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SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
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