Thomas Vail, M.D., talks about his vision for the future of the department.
Clinicians and researchers at UCSF have initiated a new cartilage repair and regeneration center aimed at utilizing and testing the latest clinical methods while harnessing basic scientific tools to improve cartilage repair.
Hyaline cartilage that dies does not regenerate. When cartilage repairs itself, it does so with the softer, less effective fibrocartilage. Discovering a way to keep injured cartilage cells from dying after trauma or surgery would go a long way toward forestalling or improving cartilage repair.
Orthopaedic researchers at UCSF are testing a therapy to regrow damaged cartilage. The therapy involves growing patients' own cartilage cells outside the body and then using them to repair damaged tissue.
JD, was a 23-year-old male college student and patient who presented for evaluation of his right knee. He had experienced a twisting injury to the knee four years previously and a recent injury had caused the knee to lock up. The diagnosis was a right knee osteochondral defect with possible osteochondral loose body in the interchondylar notch.
For the most part, traditionally used imaging tools have not supplied enough quantitative data to successfully monitor the health of cartilage tissue. New imaging techniques and technologies are coming in place to change that.
Thomas Parker Vail, M.D., became the chair of the UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in January. One of the nation's top orthopaedic surgeons, Vail comes to UCSF from Duke University, where he was professor of orthopaedic surgery and director of adult reconstructive surgery at Duke University Medical Center.
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