Stem Cell Treatment for Knee Arthritis.

 

There are many causes for arthritis of the knee. Most experts agree there is a complex interplay of genetic, metabolic, biochemical, and biomechanical factors, associated with inflammation.

The cartilage cells eventually become unable to keep up with the “normal” wear and tear experienced by the joint. The result is a failure of the cartilage surface to adequately repair and heal itself, leading to arthritis, joint degeneration, and pain.

Current nonsurgical treatments for this condition include limiting activities, pain medications, steroid injections, HA (joint lube) injections, and even nerve ablations to mask joint pain.

Traditionally, if these options fail, the only surgical treatment with proven results has been joint replacement. Nevertheless, knee replacement is a major surgical procedure with significant potential risks, high costs, and does not always relieve pain.

The use of autologous mesenchymal stem cells (MSC’s), derived from either your own bone marrow or fat, has been shown to be a promising treatment for knee arthritis. Stem cells work in at least two different ways to help with knee arthritis. MSC’s can differentiate into mesodermal tissues such as cartilage and bone and potentially help heal and repair injured tissues. Stem cells also act like molecular factories, producing growth factors, anti inflammatory cytokines, and other signaling molecules which reduce inflammation, promote growth, and recruit other stem cells into an area of injury. Our clinic also uses multiple platelet rich plasma injections (PRP) in conjunction with MSC’s to amplify the effects of the stem cells, help them grow, and improve survival after injection. Interestingly, PRP alone for knee arthritis has been shown superior to both steroid and hyaluronic acid (HA) injections for arthritis pain.

Medical studies have shown that the use of stem cell (MSC) injections for knee arthritis can result in numerous, measurable benefits. These includes thickening of knee cartilage layers at three and six months after injection, increased volume of cartilage, reduction of knee pain, and increased knee range of motion. Each patient is unique, and individual variables can effect the results of treatment.

If you would like to discuss your knee condition further, please email us and well will be happy to review the current literature and our success rates.