The body’s response to an ACL injury is similar to that of a stroke or heart attack, according to Beaumont Health researchers. However, they state, the stem cells have difficulty getting through the membrane that surrounds the knee joint.

The discovery of the stem cell “Army” may help lead to breakthroughs to help enable stem cells to repair injuries and prevent the development of conditions such as osteoarthritis.

“We think this discovery will help us to understand how the body responds to an ACL injury, and also how post-traumatic osteoarthritis develops after a joint injury,” says Beaumont Health orthopedic surgeon Kyle Anderson, MD, in a media release.

Anderson conducted the research along with Kevin Baker, PhD, Beaumont director of Orthopedic Research, and others.

“The next step of our research will be finding methods to get the stem cells inside the joint. If the stem cells can get through the membrane around the knee, they could help speed up the healing process and perhaps delay or prevent arthritis,” Baker adds.

The study, funded in part by the American Orthopedic Society of Sports Medicine, appeared recently in the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.

[Source(s): Beaumont Health, Newswise]