Dr. Cameron Clokie has taken bone regeneration all the way back to the embryonic state. The procedure he performs is an amazing step on the road to tissue regeneration. Prior to this surgery the only way to rebuild a part of the body was to take muscle, fat and bone from another part of the body.
Dr. Cameron Clokie spoke of two cases regarding regenerative medicine. The first received a standard surgery requiring 19 hours involving the jawbone. She was hospitalized for two weeks with one week spent in intensive care.
She will require a second operation which will use bone from her hip. The second surgery was performed by Dr. Clokie with the new procedure. The operation lasted for four hours and he was hospitalized for two nights. He went skiing two weeks later in Colorado.
This type of reconstruction requires a specific growth protein in a putty like form. The substance is then formed into a model to replace the missing section of bone. A titanium rod is used for support and within days the blood vessels begin to grow over the structure made of gel. This causes the gel to start to dissolve and the bone begins to grow and fill in the space.
The biggest issue with this surgery is the current expense. The protein required is called morphogenetic protein or BMP and was originally discovered in the 1950’s at the University of California. The discovery was made by Marshall Urist, an orthopedic surgeon Dr.
Cameron Clokie had been working with for several years. Dr. Urist passed away in 2001 but had been using BMP to foster the regrowth of bones. His most famous case was when he used BMP as a counter to the bone loss around Dionne Warwick’s teeth.
BMP has been used in surgeries to fuse the spine since late in the 1990’s. It has the ability to affect stem cells and cause them to grow into different types of tissues. Dr. Clokie began testing BMP in the late 1990’s in reconstructive surgery to the jaw. His biggest concern is finding a way to substantially lower the cost of BMP.
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