Diseases involving irremediable tissue damage of the musculoskeletal system account today for about 15% of hospital admissions in developed countries. With the ageing of the population, this is believed to gain significantly in importance in the coming years.
The majority of the disorders affecting the musculoskeletal system are the joint diseases, in particular osteoarthritis. The latter disease process is typically initiated and associated with defects of the articular cartilage and the underlying bone, causing pain as well as functional impairment. Early tissue repair resulting in the functional restoration of damaged joint surfaces is expected to prevent the development of osteoarthritis, and slow down the progression of the disease.
Different solutions and therapies are currently available for the local treatment of joint surface defects. Ranging from small-scaled arthroscopic debridement with microfracture or osteochondral grafting, to radical surgery involving total joint replacement by implantation of prosthesis. However, as the lifetime of joint prosthesis is limited, and with the ageing of the population, there is an increased need for more long lasting biological repair procedures.
Patrick Valkenberg | alphagalileo
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