The joints (such as hip, knee and shoulder) are the anatomical parts that allow the use and movement of the extremities of the human body. These joints perform a continuous mechanical work and are protected by cartilage, a complex tissue that has the task of cushioning and making fluid the joint movement.
Cartilage is in fact a fundamental support tissue for the joints and very often it can be subject to wear due to the onset of arthrosis or other pathologies.
Orthopaedics and Rheumatology are certainly some of the specialist sectors that have benefited most from the new technologies for the treatment of the most common osteoarticular pathologies.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic joints disease characterized by degenerative changes in joint cartilage and secondary bone hyperplasia. Characteristic features of articular cartilage are the absence of blood vessels and the low rate of conversion of chondrocytes into cartilage matrix, which is why until now any type of specific treatment has proved to be poorly effective. In fact, the traditional treatments used for the treatment of OA, such as arthroscopic debridement, micro-fractures, autologous or allogeneic cartilage transplantation, chondrocyte transplantation, have only had symptomatic pain management endpoints, without being able to contribute in any way to the regeneration of degenerated cartilage or to the reduction of joint inflammation.
The cartilage therefore, having a non-vascularized structure and being made up of cells (chondrocytes) with low reproductive activity, unfortunately has a limited capacity for self-regeneration. This makes it one of the most fragile and wear-prone parts of the body. The loss of space and the consequent approach of the bone heads can cause intense pain associated with difficulties in walking and in the normal use of the limb.
In many cases, the pain is bound to become more and more acute to the point of making even the simplest movements as descending and climbing stairs or getting out of bed more difficult. What often begins as a passing nuisance can quickly turn into a severe chronic pain that adversely affects the working and private lives of patients.