“I’m not ready for the metal”, or even “I’m not ready for the prosthesis”, is the claim of the orthopaedic conference held on 13 and 14 December at the Contro Congressi di Humanitas, a moment of meeting and comparison between the most influential scientists and clinicians in the world in the field of regenerative orthopaedics.

At the center of the meeting organized by the International Cartilage Repair and Joint Preservation Society, a theme of great topicality that reflects the needs of patients to extend the life of their joints as much as possible, while maintaining fitness and physical activity.

“More and more patients come to our center – Center for functional and biological reconstruction of the knee – asking for alternative solutions to joint prostheses and this congress makes an important point of the situation both on the solutions available in clinical practice, and on the latest developments in research in this field,” explained Prof. Elizaveta Kon, head of Orthopedics in Humanitas and associate professor of Locomotor System Diseases at Humanitas University.

The conference with international guests

The conference, organized and chaired by Prof. Elizaveta Kon and Prof. Maurilio Marcacci, aimed to offer a broad overview of all the treatments currently available on the subject of regenerative orthopedics.

The meeting was attended by about 500 delegates from more than 40 countries such as Japan, the United States, South Korea, Malaysia and Brazil; specialists discussed biological strategies (growth factors and stem cells) and biomaterials for the treatment of cartilage disease in all anatomical districts.

For the occasion, the doctors of the Centre for Functional and Biological Reconstruction of the knee of Humanitas (prof.ssa Elizaveta Kon, prof. Maurilio Marcacci, dott. Berardo Di Matteo, dott. Francesco Iacono, dott. Tommaso Bonanzinga) presented the results of various clinical studies currently underway at Humanitas.

The study by Professor Kon

Prof. Elizaveta Kon presented a study dedicated to the treatment of subchondral bone and so-called “bone oedemas”.

“Recent research developments in the field of knee cartilage pathology have shown that the bone tissue underlying the cartilage (subchondral bone) plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of the cartilage damage itself and, therefore, of the osteoarthritis,” explained the professor.

“There are pathological conditions in which this tissue is affected in a peculiar way, as in the case of osteonecrosis or medullary oedema (“bone oedemas”): in these cases, when instrumental and pharmacological conservative treatments are ineffective, it is possible to intervene with a minimally invasive treatment specifically aimed at the subchondral bone”.

“The subchondroplasty procedure consists in the intraosseous injection, under radiographic guidance, of therapeutic substances at the level of the subchondral lesion – Kon clarified – currently in clinical practice it is possible to use the autologous bone marrow concentrate, rich in autologous mesenchymal stem cells, or a biosynthetic bone substitute”.

“The choice of the type of substance to be used depends on the characteristics of the patient, the location and extent of the lesion to be treated and the simultaneous presence of cartilage damage. These treatments require a minimum of hospitalization and the preliminary results are encouraging,” concluded the professor.

Subchondroplasty is a method used by the Centre for Functional and Biological Reconstruction of the Knee, directed by Prof. Marcacci, in which two clinical studies are currently underway, one concerning the use of bone substitutes and the other concerning the concentration of stem cells.