The limitations of traditional treatments for arthritis are causing many to seek alternatives for relieving their arthritis pain and symptoms. Even current surgical procedures for arthritis come up short since they cannot reverse the damage arthritis causes to articular cartilage. As a result, stem cell treatments and other regenerative therapies are gaining popularity because they result in the repair and regeneration of the joints.
Conventional treatments for arthritis only manage the problem. These treatments “chase the symptoms.” For example, NSAIDs and opioids may be given for the pain of arthritis. And sure, they are helpful to get relief from the pain, but these medications do not repair the joint. As time goes on, the pain and symptoms will continue because the joint is still not repaired, and surgery will likely be recommended. But surgery comes with complications and long recovery times! In an effort to avoid this scenario, people living with arthritis are seeking stem cell treatments as an alternative to surgery.
Stem cell treatments have great potential due to their ability to regenerate damaged cartilage (1). Stem cell-based therapy is gaining popularity as an alternative to joint replacement, especially since it has reparative effects. However, due to the ethical concerns in using embryonic cells, the current trend is more focused on adult stem cells for cartilage regeneration.
There are various types of stem cells being utilized which include mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), bone marrow-derived stem cells (BMSCs), and adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) for the regeneration of cartilage. Again, these types of adult stem cells may be chosen for cartilage regeneration.
MSCs derived from bone marrow (BMSCs) can repair tissues such as tendons, bony defects, and cartilage (2). Plus, when placed in the injured and degenerated areas, such as in knee and hip arthritis cases, these cells can assist in cartilage regeneration of the joint and alleviate the pain experienced by arthritis patients (3).
“The versatility of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as a treatment modality has landed it another repair target: osteoarthritis, a crippling cartilage disease that frequently afflicts the aged population. Through many studies, this newly discovered method has been shown to significantly alleviate the pain experienced by osteoarthritic patients.”(3)
Once aspirated (drawn out), mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are centrifuged to have a more concentrated number of stem cells to boost recovery and effectiveness (3). In addition, since these stem cells are taken directly from the person who will receive them (autologous), the chance of cross-contamination is reduced, which increases the efficacy of the therapy.
Studies have shown that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from bone marrow (BMSCs) can successfully regenerate injured cartilage, repair chondral defects, and improve arthritis symptoms in humans.
“The capability of the mesenchymal stem cells to repair and regenerate cartilage has been widely investigated. . .Several studies have demonstrated promising results in the clinical application for repair of chondral defects as an adjuvant (during surgery in some cases) or independent procedure. Intra-articular (mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) provide improvements in pain and function in knee osteoarthritis at short-term follow-up in many studies.”(4)
Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) are a promising source of stem cells because this fat tissue is abundant. Plus, it is relatively easy to harvest and has minimal side effects. Studies also back the use of ADSCs for cartilage regeneration in treating arthritis.
“Among the different kinds of MSCs available, adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) are emerging due to their abundancy and easiness to harvest.”(5)
“Adipose stem cells are an attractive and abundant stem cell source with therapeutic applicability in diverse fields for the repair and regeneration of acute and chronically damaged tissues.” (5)
PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, taken from your blood, is a regenerative therapy that helps to boost cartilage regeneration due to its many growth factors. These growth factors promote the growth and differentiation of the stem cells and encourage their adherence to cartilage lesions.
At OrthoRegen®, we have been using stem cells to successfully treat arthritic joints for many years. The treatment is well-established at our clinic. This non-surgical injection procedure is an excellent alternative to conventional therapies and surgeries. In addition, the self-renewing, reparative, and regenerative abilities of stem cell treatments have rendered them an attractive option for the treatment of arthritis.
Additionally, at OrthoRegen®, we use the Gold Standard in Stem Cell Therapy. That means we use four different types of regenerative therapies. Many other clinics only use 1 or 2. We will use MSCs derived from bone marrow (BMSCs), adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) taken from fat, PRP, or platelet-rich plasma drawn from your blood, and then Dextrose Prolotherapy. All of these together give you the best chance at repair and regeneration to help you return to all the activities you enjoy.
Stem cell treatments are gaining popularity because they work! Call us at 310-453-1234 and find out if you are a candidate for this treatment.