Raised bone: the Ukrainian military to save limbs with stem cells

Ukrainian soldiers grow damaged areas of bone. For example, the femur or humerus. The patient take cells from the bone marrow and a fragment of the fibula. In biological laboratory doctors grow bone tissue. Then hooked it in place of the damaged section. So return the viability of the limb. Technology has returned to normal life a few dozen fighters. In Ukraine, such treatment is considered experimental, therefore, the state cannot allocate money for it. For the treatment of soldiers have to gather volunteers. Treatment of the Ukrainian military, found out the website Today.

For two years in hospitals

Explosions and the rattle of gunfire. The splinters dig into the body. Hundreds of wounded. Children are taken to hospital. Someone debris injured leg, someone’s hands, someone lost an eye. Someone stands up for a month or two, and someone in hospitals for a year, or even two. The worst that can tell the physician the amputation and the prosthesis. Feared mobilized in 2014, Sergei K., Sergey M. and volunteer Vitaly A. All three received serious injuries in 2015. They were treated in different hospitals, but the shattered leg bones never fused. Now they are in the house of one of the private clinics using volunteers. Here they literally grew bone implants made from their own cells. Now the fighters at the last stage – the implant must grow together with the bone.

Sergey K. in February 2015, he came under mortar attack. Photo: D. Pavlov, “Today”
Photo: D. Pavlov, “Today”
Vitaly A. the battle of the Sands a splinter flew the guy in the eye, and the bullet shattered a piece of the thigh bone. Fighter three months lost while he was in captivity. Photo: D. Pavlov, “Today”
Sergei M. blown up by stretching under Crimean the Luhansk region. Photo: D. Pavlov, “Today”
Photo: D. Pavlov, “Today”

The left leg of Sergei K. all scarred because of the numerical operations. In February 2015 he came under mortar attack. The shrapnel shattered his thigh bone. In hospitals of Donetsk and Dnipro Sergey has undergone five operations. The doctors shortened the soldier injured bone three inches and fixed. But she never healed. On the contrary, osteomyelitis – an infectious disease of the bone is destroyed and about nine inches of bone.

“Splinter broke the bone into pieces. In Artemovsk made the first step – external fixation set. The rest of the operation was in the military hospital of the Dnieper. I spent a week there. After I was transported by plane to Lviv. There’s almost a year passed treatment. In the leg I installed the plate. The doctors were hoping that the bone will heal, and it turned out that rotted and festered underlying bone. Not enough 12 inches! The doctors wanted to break it and gradually stretch. But the fait accompli that the knee will atrophy and will need to change the joint,” he says.

Sergei K. has undergone five operations. Photo: D. Pavlov, “Today”

The soldier at the time, got volunteers. They proposed a treatment using biotechnology. Sergey at first hesitant, didn’t know who to believe. But still agreed. Already in a private clinic leg bone doctors cleared of pus – stopped the osteomyelitis. The man took the stem cells to grow bone implant and sent me home. Eight months later, Sergey made the first surgery. The treatment would have cost him 602 thousand hryvnias. And it’s discounted clinics in 43%. At first Sergey has appealed to the Ministry of defense to his treatment paid by the government. However, the Department immediately disown financing an expensive operation, says Sergey.

“I was told there was no need to resign from the Armed Forces, we would have been treated. And since you quit money is not highlight. Because of the injuries group for disability and receive a pension. State… would Like to not only me, but all were treated better. I recently had a son. In any case, you will need to work. The main thing – to get to his feet,” – said Sergey K.

Vitali A. in the house the youngest is 26. The fighter went to defend the country as a volunteer in July 2014. In the battle of the Sands a splinter flew the guy in the eye, and the bullet shattered a piece of the thigh bone. Fighter three months lost while he was in captivity. Then release and hospitals. Operations in three hospitals did not help. The bone is not fused and destroyed by osteomyelitis.

Vitaly A. lost three months in captivity. Photo: D. Pavlov, “Today”

“Wounded on the second day after Easter in 2015. We went for exploration in Sands. And there we waited. Let the tailgating… I was shot in the leg. The bullet knocked a piece of bone about seven inches. The bone defect to 12 inches. If treated immediately, but it happened three months lost. I was captured. The process of splicing was not. Separable but turns out I was drained, in the truest sense of the word. There is also bandaged the leg, but still it could not help to mend the bone,” recalls Vitali.

He promised to put his feet on the doctors of the Dnieper, Odessa and Kiev. In August 2016, he appealed to the volunteers – before they rescued his colleague. After a month or two, Vitali hopes to start walking.

“Here I grew up and put bone in the leg. After a month or two remove the lock and if the bone is grown well will begin to walk. In the treatment of state it gives off nothing. I’m not officially served, and volunteered. Status either. Only got a “disabled veteran,” adds the fighter.

Sergei M. 31 years and the house his seven year old son. The man returned in 2014 in a field engineering regiment. Under the Crimean in Luhansk region was blown up on the stretch. Fragments of damaged left hand and the bone of the thigh of the left leg. The fighter underwent seven operations, but the effect was lacking. The bones haven’t fused.

Sergei M. damaged left hand and leg. Photo: D. Pavlov, “Today”

“After the explosion I was taken to Lysychansk. There he received first aid and helicopter I sent to Kharkov. Two months I was there – I was stitched and sent to Kiev to the hospital. Then lay in Lviv, Lutsk. There’s a guy with a bullet wound said that there is a project volunteer. I applied to the Ministry of social policy. I was told that such money can not identify. What is the violation of the bones they don’t know. Just sent a reply that there is no money”, – says Sergey.

Biotechnology has set up the 75 soldiers

Injured literally grow new bone. To do this, take the patient’s red bone marrow and a small piece of fibula bones. Of stem cells can “grow” muscle, nerve, bone or any other tissue. If no cells, at the site of fracture scars are formed and the fractures do not grow together.

“This technology allows a completely new way to look at the processes in the bone. It is to restore the vitality of bone tissue. Launches the disturbed processes of the body. When injured in a car accident or a gunshot wound dying bone cells at a great distance from the line of trauma. As fractures grow at the expense of these cells. If not recover their viability – splicing will not” – says one of the authors of the method, orthopedist-traumatologist of the highest category Vladimir Oksimets.

Vladimir Oksimets – one of the authors of the methodology of “growing” bone. Photo: D. Pavlov

The Ministry of health does not recognize this treatment. The treatment method is not proven, according to the Department. It can be considered as experimental. But stem cells are not better than combination of other methods of treatment of bone defects, are sure experts of the Ministry.

“The Ministry of health of Ukraine considers it appropriate to Fund experimental treatment. No civilized country in the world financed from the budget of the therapies whose effectiveness is not proven and which may be harmful or give the worst result available” – explain in the Ministry of health.

However, stem cells have already helped 75 soldiers. They work when you cannot help a person in the usual ways, says the head of the center of volunteers People’s Project Maxim Ryabokon.

“The guys who came to us and did not receive specific treatment. The men say they need to be like six months or a year with the Ilizarov apparatus. Fighter walks with him, and bones develop inflammatory processes. This can lead to amputation. People after the war and a long recovery do not agree with this”, – says Maxim Ryabokon.

Doctor Vladimir Oksimets wonders why the Ministry of health said the technique is unproven. The first transplant was conducted in 2004 in Donetsk. The research was funded by the National Academy of Sciences. According to the physician, there is a report by the Academy of Sciences, productive, experimental, basic and clinical evidence.

“We are not saying that this method should be treated all fighters. We are talking about 1-2% of guys to cure by the usual method impossible,” adds Maxim Ryabokon.