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The first Meniscal Regeneration Surgery in Hong Kong, to make “irreparable meniscal tears” reparable

  • Article: Meniscal Regeneration By Meniscal Scaffold Implant Actifit Polyurethane Scaffold
  • Press Release: The first Meniscal Regeneration Surgery in Hong Kong, to make "irreparable meniscal tears" reparable
  • Sporting chance in knee injury first (The Standard, November 19, 2012)
  • Surgery to regrow torn knee pad (South China Morning Post, December 11, 2012)

Press Release

(Hong Kong – 13 November 2012) The meniscus is a crescent-shaped fibro-cartilaginous structure located between the thigh bone and the tibia, acting to disperse the weight of the body, absorb shocks and reduce friction during movement. In Hong Kong, meniscal tear is a common injury caused by intense actions when exercising. Some meniscal tears are more severe, which can only be removed but not repaired. When the meniscus is removed, the knee joint is not protected, hence increases the chances of early osteoarthritis.

Sport Injury leading to meniscal tears
According to Dr. Terence Chan, Orthopaedics & Traumatology, meniscal tears are common in 20 – 40 year olds, especially in males. He added: "most tears are related to sport injury or falling accidently, causing sudden forceful twisting in the knee, resulting in a meniscal tear." For example, when basketball players change direction too quickly after a jump, or when footballers collide into each other, will all increase the likelihood of a meniscal tear.

Dr. Chan also highlighted some of the symptoms associated with meniscal tears, including pain, swelling, popping when bending or straightening the knee, or even locking. Not only will it affect the functioning of the lower limbs, development of early osteoarthritis is also common due to damage to the surrounding cartilage.

Traditional Treatment has its limitations - Meniscal tears fail to recover
Dr. C.C. Kong, Orthopaedics & Traumatology, pointed out the limitations of traditional meniscus repair and partial meniscectomy, and in some of the more complex cases, the meniscus cannot be repaired.

The innovative "Meniscal Regeneration Surgery" has been introduced in Hong Kong recently, helping patients with damaged meniscus to heal. A local patient successfully received this minimally invasive treatment on Monday, the very first case in Hong Kong.

The first successful Meniscal Regeneration Surgery in Hong Kong
This surgery conducted by Dr. Chan and Dr. Kong has been successfully performed. Professor Verdonk, the core developer of this surgery, was also very pleased with the procedure finished at Matilda International Hospital. Professor Verdonk further explained: "The principle of Meniscal Regeneration Surgery is to clear the site of the meniscus defect, fill the defect with a trimmed scaffold, then suture the implant and the host meniscus together. The meniscal scaffold implant supports the in-growth of new "meniscus like" tissue with the aim of alleviating post-meniscectomy knee pain and preventing further articular cartilage degeneration."

Professor Verdonk emphasised that the meniscal scaffold would be degraded and absorbed in about 5 years, where the new "meniscus like" tissue would have replaced the scaffold. The high interconnected porosity property of the scaffold enables tissue in-growth, leading to self-healing. This ground-breaking Meniscal Regeneration Surgery has made recovery possible to the damaged meniscus.

Case Sharing:
Mr. William, a 33 years-old local citizen, educated in UK and working in advertising industry, is very fond of active and aggressive sport, including wakeboarding, hockey, adventure racing, and scuba-diving. He has also won an award in adventure racing. Unfortunately, he experienced a meniscal tear in the left knee 10 years ago during a wakeboarding incident, and suffered another hockey injury shortly after his recovery.

Diagnosis showed there was over 50% of damage in the meniscus, and thus unsuitable for a traditional meniscus repair, William underwent partial meniscectomy in 2006. Nevertheless, the functionality of his left knee was still affected, and was no longer able to enjoy active sports, but to play moderate sport such as running or swimming. William also felt irregular knee pain, in which he had to meet the doctor again due to recurrent knee pain whilst running half a year ago.

William was introduced to the new Meniscal Regeneration Surgery, and learnt that many European athletics have undergone this surgery, he finally accepted this new treatment and became the first patient of Meniscal Regeneration Surgery in Hong Kong. The surgery held on Monday in Hong Kong was very successful, doctors have reported that William is in good condition and recovery progress is expected.


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Hong Kong Spine & Pain Centre is a one-stop comprehensive multidisciplinary medical care provider, with specialist doctors and physiotherapists to treat a wide range of spinal problems and other conditions causing pain.At hong kong spine & pain centre, our team of experts are dedicated to helping you better understand your condition, provide prompt clinical assessment, accurate diagnosis, explain and discuss the best treatment options with you, from non-surgical to surgical treatments. We aim to help you physically and psychologically, maximising your daily functions while minimising pain, returning or even enhancing your quality of life.

For more information, please visit www.spineandpain.hk.



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