Why do people pierce their cartilage

Cell research : Cartilage - almost irreplaceable

Cartilage is a valuable substance - because it is one of the types of tissue in the body that does not regenerate on its own. Once worn or broken out, it is not easy to repair it even with outside help. Immobile joints and pain are the result. So far, only replacing the joint with a prosthesis has helped with severe cartilage damage. Nevertheless, research is working to preserve the natural joint for as long as possible. Although the cartilage does not regenerate automatically, there are several methods that can be used to give it a helping hand. The method of drilling into the bone above the joint, for example with special chisels or a wire, has long been known. This will cause some bone marrow to leak out and flow into the joint. The stem cells it contains form new cartilage on the joint surface that has been drilled into. However, this method is only suitable for very small injuries, says Thilo John, chief physician at the clinic for trauma surgery and orthopedics at the DRK clinics in Berlin-Westend. Because the regrowing cartilage does not have the same sliding properties as the original tissue. An established therapy for healing larger injuries is the cultivation of healthy cartilage tissue in the laboratory. For this purpose, healthy cartilage is removed during an initial operation. "Conveniently, there are areas of cartilage in the knee that are not absolutely needed because they are not stressed," says Orthopedic Chief Physician John. A piece less than five millimeters in diameter is punched out of these areas and reproduced in the laboratory on a carrier tissue or as a mixture of cells - what doctors call a matrix. After about six weeks, a second operation is scheduled and the new tissue is implanted in the defective areas. The disadvantage of this treatment is the lengthy healing process: there are six weeks between the two operations alone. And it can take up to a year for the new cartilage to be fully resilient. Great hopes are therefore placed in stem cell therapy, which is still in its infancy. The use of stem cells to treat persistent joint problems is relatively new. It was not until 2005 that this therapy option became better known. Stem cells are cells that, depending on the environment, can transform into other types of cells, including cartilage. And therein lies the difficulty. Because so far very little is known about the mechanism that causes stem cells to develop in a certain direction. It would be fatal if, after being inserted into the joint, they turned into bone cells instead of cartilage, for example. This would not improve symptoms, but would likely make them worse. Head physician John therefore does not believe that stem cell therapy will replace operations and artificial joints in the near future. "Why the stem cells develop and how they develop is still largely unknown. The stem cell therapy will perhaps be really operational in five to eight years," says John, who himself conducts studies on stem cell therapy. For very severe cartilage damage, however, neither the removal of your own cartilage nor stem cell therapy is suitable. The newly inserted cells, regardless of how they were obtained, are very sensitive and need some time to stabilize. If the surrounding cartilage tissue is severely damaged by osteoarthritis, for example, this is an unfavorable environment for the new, extremely sensitive cells, says John. Instead of growing, they die off.

The magazine for medicine and health in Berlin: "Tagesspiegel Gesund - back, hip & knee".

Further topics of the edition: Fact check. Interesting facts about bones, cartilage and joints; Really fit. What kind of sport is good for my joints; Prevention.How health insurances promote thousands of health courses; Moving. Berliners present their favorite sport; Fitness. How to recognize a good gym - and train properly; Purchase advice. Which running shoe suits which type of runner; Knowledge. The best nutrition tips for strong bones; Facts. Orthopedics in numbers: diseases, treatments, costs; Treatment pathway. Route planner through healthcare;Spine. If the shock absorbers are defective: a visit to a disc surgery; Knowledge. Sitting properly in the office;Purchase advice. How to make a bed: tips on choosing a mattress; Hip. Demanding routine: How to implant an artificial joint; Hip. Despite osteoarthritis surgery, you can continue to work as a sports trainer; Change of joint. More and more often, prostheses have to be exchanged; Knee. Replacement made of titanium: This is how the knee joint becomes mobile again; Knee.Help, torn ligament; Hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome and Dupuytren's contracture are curable; Hand. Why it distinguishes humans from animals; Shoulder.New mobility after impingement syndrome; Foot. Toe straightening: how to treat hallux valgus. Trends.cementless prosthesis, navigation in the operating room; Pain. How to stay tolerable with chronic pain; Alternative medicine.Acupuncture, fasting, leeches - how they work; Rehab. After the intervertebral disc surgery you have to learn to lift properly; Rehab. From application to co-payment: everything to do with rehabilitation; Rehab. Why rehab is useful. Tables. Find the best doctors: Berlin and Brandenburg doctors and clinics in comparison."Tagesspiegel Gesund" - Now in our shop

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