The Speed Ski champion Simone Origone underwent an infiltration of knee monocytes at Humanitas. The operation, performed by Dr. Enrico Arnaldi, Head of Arthroscopic and Reconstructive Orthopaedics of the Knee, is part of the so-called biological therapies.

Born in 1979 in the Aosta Valley, a ski instructor and mountain guide, Simone Origone is a speed ski champion. In his palmares there are 11 World Cups and 6 World Golds. He holds the world speed record in 2006, 2014 and again in 2015 with 252.632 km/h. In 2016 he reached a speed of 252.987, but a few minutes later his brother Ivan set the new record. A career studded with successes, but also falls and injuries that forced Simone Origone to several breaks because of knee surgery.

What is regenerative medicine?

As Dr. Arnaldi and Dr. Andrea Bruno of the Arthroscopic and Reconstructive Knee Orthopaedics Unit explain: “In the last few years there has been a growing interest in regenerative medicine on the part of the media, patients, companies and the scientific community. Everyone has been fascinated by the possibility of being able to guide and strengthen the innate repair processes of our tissues in order to heal disabling pathological conditions, thanks to the clinical application of new biological discoveries. In our orthopaedic field we talk about Orthopedics, precisely to underline the close connection between biological disciplines and clinical practice.

The biological sciences have made it possible to learn more about the complex mechanisms of tissue regeneration and have made it possible to glimpse the possibility of piloting these processes.

At present, in Orthology growth factors and proteins derived from blood, adult mesenchymal cells (MSC) derived from bone marrow, adipose tissue, blood (monocytes) and scaffolds are used, i.e. bio-engineering products created in the laboratory that mimic the structure of a biological tissue to encourage subsequent colonization by the cells”.

An interesting road, but without final long-term results

“Laboratory studies and experimental models have shown that these therapies have a great capacity for tissue regeneration. However, today, in clinical practice, there are still no instruments that can really heal arthrosis by regenerating cartilage or reconstruct tendons.

From the results of early scientific work we know that many of these biological therapies can modulate inflammation leading to a reduction in pain and an improvement in joint function. High level studies with long follow-ups proving long-term effectiveness are still lacking. There remains an interesting but still long way to go and it is important not to give false hope to our patients. Generally, at Humanitas, we use these therapies in very selected cases and tend to use them in study and research projects”, concluded the two specialists.

The experience of Simone Origone

“I’ve had several regenerative therapies in the past, but this is the first time I’ve had monocyte infiltration. Unfortunately, at the end of the racing season, I found myself with a strong pain in my knees that forced me to undergo a new therapy. The health of my knees conditions my training a lot and over the years I have learned to adapt my athletic training to their needs, learning to train carefully and also taking into account how I feel. I’m looking forward to a summer of working as a mountain guide and then from September I’ll start training for the World Cup 2020, where I’m aiming to regain the title.

My life as a sportsman has taught me that with patience and perseverance you can achieve great things, just as medical research can do thanks to the work of researchers and the help of all those who invest in it.