Stem cells used to save woman's leg

Sunday, October 3, 2010
Peter Sands
Stem cells used to save woman's leg

Diane Stuttard broke her lower left leg broken when she was hit by a car in 2001. Her fibula and tibia were shattered and she was supposed to have her leg amputated after undergoing 11 operations. Stuttard then hear about leading orthopedic surgeon, Anan Shetty, who used stem cells to save the leg of a climber.
Stuttard was operated on at the Spire Alexandra Hospital in Chatham, Kent. During the operation, stem cells were taken from her bone marrow, then mixed with a gel that held the cells against the fracture. A number of days later, the cells started to form new bone, healing the broken leg.
Additionally, surgeons lengthened her leg. They cut into a healthy section of her bone, injected the stem cell mixture and gently pulled the bone apart: almost 1 cm. a month.
This is not the first time that stem cells have been used in bone reconstruction. It is, however, the first time stem cells, gel and the leg lengthening technique have all been used on the same patient. Anan Shetty said the was confident that the fracture would join up. It will be 18 months before the doctors can be sure that the leg has completely healed.

Source:  Telegraph

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