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Smart Woman: Breakthrough Muscle Regrowth

A new study shows it's possible to grow back large amounts of muscle lost after accidents or military blasts.

Nick Clark's lower left leg was badly damaged in a skiing accident nearly ten years ago.

 Because of complications of that severe break there was a lot of internal bleeding inside these muscle compartments and that caused swelling, he lost large volumes of muscle.

Nick was one of five patients who took part in an experiment to test a new stem cell technique using material from pigs.

Dr. Steve Badylak, Dept of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh explains the process as such. "We can take the type of injury that normally would form nothing other than scar  tissue and form a brand new skeletal muscle that's functional, that contracts."
   
Thin sheets of the material are implanted,  coaxing the patients' stem cells to the injury site.   Then,  through intense physical therapy, the new material and cells are stretched.. together with the remaining muscle.

Nick says his balance is better now.  
He can also put weight on his leg,  jump .. and he no longer wears an orthotic.

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