Most current arthritis treatments involve pain relief or complex and painful surgeries. Now, British scientists are using stem cells that they say are producing 'astonishing results' with regrowing cartilage that is almost as good as the original in just three months.

According to Professor Sue Kimber, who is leading the research, the work could be a very important step in treating arthritis and cartilage damage in older patients.

Researchers have said that the experiments show that stem cells could be used to grow new cartilage in as many as eight million patients around Great Britain, and countless millions more around the world.

The experiments were done by research teams at Manchester University and used discarded embryonic stem cells, which were transformed into healthy cartilage cells. They then were transplanted into rats with arthritic joints.

Cartilage cells have been created from adult stem cells but it is extremely expensive. The ability of embryonic stem cells to multiply rapidly could offer the possibility of high volume production of new cartilage.

Another researcher on the study, Dr. Stephen Simpson, noted that embryonic stem cells offer us another source of cartilage cells, rather than adult stem cells.

Osteoarthritis strikes millions of people most often after the age of 40, as cartilage degrades in the knees, hips and wrist joints, most often.