The ABICUS trial is a clinical trial conducted at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust. It is comparing outcomes between the new ABICUS procedure and a conventional procedure used to treat damaged joint surfaces in the hips and knees.
The most common conventional procedure is microfracture whereby holes are made in the exposed bone to stimulate a layer of scar tissue (fibrocartilage) to ‘plug’ the defect. However, this fibrocartilage is not as durable as natural articular cartilage and may degenerate rapidly, leading to re-exposure of the defect and subsequent pain.
The ABICUS procedure uses a patient’s own stem cells to be implanted into the chondral defect via keyhole surgery with the aim of forming a regenerated joint surface and improve symptoms and outcomes. The procedure may be performed in either the hip or the knee.