Dr. Samir Sharma Responds to Innovative New Knee Procedures

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A new technology involving pig tissue could be used to treat the most common orthopedic procedure—removal of damaged meniscus tissues. Orthopedic expert, Dr. Samir Sharma discusses the possibility of this new procedure.

For athletes, minute tissue tears can become a major issue that affects one performance, and in severe cases, his or her career. Of these injuries, a torn meniscus in the knee can be especially damaging. According to a recent article on DelawareOnline.com, a torn meniscus is the most common problem orthopedic practitioners treat and is also a major cause of osteoarthritis. Although there are available treatments for removing and replacing the tissues, current techniques being performed in low numbers do to a limited amount tissue donors. However, Tissue Regenix Group Plc of York, England is in the process of developing and presenting a solution to that problem, by introducing a procedure using tissue made from pigs. As a practicing orthopedic specialist, Dr. Samir Sharma explains how revolutionary this new treatment could be if it is proven effective.

Dr. Samir Sharma, a sports medicine specialist, is particularly interested in the recovery of orthopedic conditions that affect the knee, shoulder and elbow joints and tissues. Through this focus, he has witnessed firsthand the complications that can come with widespread tissue shortages. However, as with all major medical breakthroughs, Sharma understands that it may take time for the pig tissue procedure to be understood and implemented.

The article explains how the process would work, “Tissue Regenix’s dCELL technology involves taking animal tissue and removing cellular material from it that would cause humans to reject the implant. That allows doctors to use the stripped tissue without anti-rejection drugs to replace worn out or diseased body parts. Once implanted, the cellular scaffold is repopulated with the patient’s own stem cells. This decellularization technology may also potentially be applied to heart valves and wound care.” Although the company has already manufactured an approved product—a vascular patch—for use in Europe, some in the industry fear that the new pig tissue technology would threaten the growing $7B prosthetic knee industry.

Despite such concerns, doctors like Dr. Samir Sharma believe that Tissue Regenix is developing a product that is totally unique. While pig tissue procedures may be an alternative to human tissue replacement, it may even be more effective. Alan Dardik, an associate professor of surgery at Yale led a study on the product and notes, “This study shows that after the dCELL process, the stripped tissue is so similar to human tissue that the body accepts it more rapidly than conventional patches.” Dr. Samir Sharma adds, “If this mensical substitute can be developed for actual use, it will prove to be a revolutionary advancement in the prevention of progression of knee arthritis.”

ABOUT:

Dr. Samir Sharma is an orthopedic specialist at South Bay Orthopedic and Sports Medicine, located in the State of California. Dr. Sharma earned his degrees at the University of Miami and Wayne State University School of Medicine and, since graduating, has spent the last decade providing orthopedic care to patients throughout the country. Dr. Samir Sharma is particularly interested in orthopedic cases pertaining to the knee, elbow, and shoulder.

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