A surgeon at Lincoln County Hospital has introduced a successful new way of treating people suffering from ankle pain caused by cartilage damage.
Professor Mohammad Maqsood, a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, is now carrying out cartilage repair using tru-fit plugs in ankle joints for city patients.
This new way of repairing cartilage damage in the ankle joint allows patients to go home on the same day or next day and speeds up recovery times.
Maqsood used a similar procedure in knee joints where cartilage damage was repaired using synthetic scaffolds, for which he won a prestigious international award.
The Lincoln surgeon also pioneered a new way of treating shoulder problems that causes the bone to dislocate by using a synthetic scaffold to mend the damage.
He started a new way of treating tendonitis and tendinosis as well — with the patient’s own blood, by injecting patient’s blood from one area into the affected area.
Maqsood said: “I have already operated on five patients with articular cartilage defects in the ankle joints using the tru-fit plugs. All five patients report to be pain free and are delighted with the outcome.”
Many patients are affected by cartilage damage in a bone in the ankle joint called the talus, with injuries seen in young adults who play sports.
When injury occurs patients are in a lot of pain and unable to take part in sporting activities. If patients are not treated they could eventually develop arthritis.
If there is damage to a patient’s articular cartilage in their ankle, the underneath bone is exposed and naked causing severe pain and discomfort.
It may cause joint swelling, pain, locking and giving way. If the defect is not treated, patients could end up with progressive damage and osteoarthritis. This is the most common cause of early arthritis in young patients.
Articular cartilage does not heal by itself, as it does not have blood vessels, nerve supply or lymph. Therefore the defect can only be repaired by transplantation or grafting.
“For many years, we have worked to prevent arthritis by transplanting patient’s own cells into the cartilage defect to protect the joint after growing them in a laboratory, but that wasn’t always effective and involved two operations, as well being costly because the cells had to be transported aboard to be grown,” Maqsood explained.
“The tru-fit plugs provide a different approach as once in the joint they attract stem cells from the surrounding bone to make new cartilage. The plugs provide a scaffold that new cartilage can build around, helping the patient’s body to repair itself.
“After the plugs are implanted they are replaced by new cartilage in approximately nine months’ time. This involves just one operation and has a much better success rate than previous methods.”
Patient Kevin Wardle was treated at Lincoln County Hospital, he said: “Before I had the operation I was in a lot of pain and was finding my ankle difficult to walk on. \
“I was doubtful that the operation would work at first, but am now so pleased I decided to go ahead with the treatment as I am now able to go walking and cycling with my wife as normal.
“I would definitely recommend this treatment to anyone who is thinking about whether or not to go ahead with the treatment.
“I was told it could take up to 18 months to be back to normal – but I was able to walk around again as normal after just three months.”