Stem cells get budding cricketer back on pitch | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Stem cells get budding cricketer back on pitch

When budding cricket star Ankit Parashar (21) was diagnosed with a knee joint disorder in 2005, his family feared the end of his career.

mumbai Updated: Jan 07, 2010 01:26 IST
HT Correspondent

When budding cricket star Ankit Parashar (21) was diagnosed with a knee joint disorder in 2005, his family feared the end of his career.

Excruciating pain had started affecting the state-level cricket captain’s performance.

Parashar was not able to run fast or squat for wicket keeping despite four conventional surgeries

Now he is rearing to get back to the pitch thanks to stem cell therapy.

“I hope to get selected for the national cricket team,” blushed the Indore-based player, who plans to get back to playing cricket next month.

Parashar suffered from Osteochondritis Dissecans, a disorder in which cracks form in the cartilage (lining of the knee joint) due to loss of blood supply to the bone.

Sports medicine specialist Dr Anant Joshi performed arthroscopies on Parashar’s knee in 2006-07 to clear the damaged lining but it provided only temporary relief. So, he decided to try a new procedure.

In June, Dr Joshi extracted a tiny portion of cartilage from a healthy area of Parashar’s left knee. This was sent to a laboratory in Korea where stem cells were separated from the cartilage and allowed to multiply for six weeks. Then, they were injected into the diseased part of the knee.

“We have followed up with him over the last six months. Latest tests show that the cells have formed a knee coating around his knee joint,” said Dr Joshi.

Parashar is one of the 10 patients who Dr Joshi has treated with stem cell therapy over the last nine months.

Stem cell therapy was first used for knee joint disorders in Korea in 2001. Doctors have since used it for 6,500 patients and have reported a 96 per cent success rate.

Dr Joshi said it is a boon for young people, especially athletes and fast bowlers, who suffer from Osteochondritis Dissecans. Sportsmen are prone to the disorder as the knees are subjected to constant strain.

“Till now, if a player came to us with this problem, we had little to offer. The careers of many players have ended because of it,” said Dr Joshi, who is the medical advisor for the Indian cricket team.