Stem Cell Injections for Knee OsteoarthritisJanuary 1, 2010 January 1, 2010
In the past year, doctors published numerous studies to highlight their findings that stem cell therapy from both bone marrow and fat sources show significant results in the repair of rotator cuff, meniscus, cartilage, and osteoarthritis problems.1,2
Stem Cell Injections are part of our treatment plan for joint injuries and chronic pain. We have specialized, since 1999, in the non-surgical treatment of joint injuries, using techniques such as prolotherapy, platelet rich plasma therapy, and stem cell therapy to regenerate joint tissue. We have performed tens of thousands of procedures. This experience allows us to take a dual approach to joint injury with the use of stem cells and PRP to treat within the joint, and the use of prolotherapy to strengthen and regenerate the supporting structure of the joint.
A holistic view of orthopaedics is also followed in several ways, as we look not only at the injured joint, but at where the problem originates, whether that is with a tilt in the pelvis, abnormal gait (walking cycle), spinal misalignment or, for example, with acquired weakness in the foot leading to excessive pronation and a drop in the arch.
Furthermore, the whole person is treated at the Magaziner Center, where a full discussion of diet, exercise, lifestyle, and supplementation is reviewed. We employ medical weight management programs if necessary to help take pressure off the joint. We believe a comprehensive and cohesive approach to joint injury will yield the greatest results and help to prevent surgery.
Stem Cell Injections for Knee Osteoarthritis
Writing in the medical journal Arthroscopy, researchers documented improvement with Mesenchymal Stem Cell Injections in patients with knee osteoarthritis. They noted significant reduction in pain, significant improvement in function, and MRI documented cartilage growth. 3
The before and after images below document joint space in our patient – the indicator of cartilage growth
Stem Cell Therapy Injections in the Knee
Osteoarthritis is a progressive disorder of the joints caused by gradual loss of articular cartilage, which naturally possesses a limited regenerative capacity. In the present study, the potential of intra-articular injection of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has been evaluated in six osteoarthritic patients….During a one-year follow-up period – comparison of magnetic resonance images (MRI) at baseline and six months post-stem cell injection displayed an increase in cartilage thickness, extension of the repair tissue over the subchondral bone and a considerable decrease in the size of edematous subchondral patches in three out of six patients. 4
While the term “stem cell treatment” often sparks thoughts of political debate and controversy, it shouldn’t in this case, as the treatment we offer refers to the use of an adult patient’s own stem cells. These stem cells, called mesenchymal stem cells, are those responsible for rebuilding and regenerating the body. We derive these cells from a patient’s own tissue and then inject them in a concentrated form in an area of injury or chronic degeneration where they help the damaged ligament, joint or tendon, regenerate – and heal – permanently. We follow strict FDA guidelines in the use of stem cells, and at no time do we manipulate, expand or grow stem cells in culture.
Because the cells come from the patient, there is no risk of rejection.
Since introducing the procedure, we’ve successfully treated patients ranging from athletes to those who have suffered for decades with chronic pain.
Researchers are busy validating the stem cell procedure, especially in the knee.
“The management of osteochondral defects of articular cartilage, whether from trauma or degenerative disease, continues to be a significant challenge for Orthopaedic surgeons…
Mesenchymal stem cells have been proposed as a potential source of cells for cell-based cartilage repair due to their ability to self-renew and undergo multi-lineage differentiation.” 5
The area of injury or arthritis is treated with both stem cells and platelet rich plasma (PRP). If stem cells are the seeds in the lawn, PRP is the fertilizer that helps the lawn grow. PRP, a combination of growth factors and platelets naturally found in the body, provides cell signals and nourishment to help the stem cells flourish and develop into new joints, ligaments, tendons, and other body parts. PRP not only triggers stem cell development, but can also help stem cells regenerate on their own inside the body, and can also attract circulating stem cells to the area of injury. We have used PRP alone in the treatment of many injuries and pain problems.
Most cases of stem cell and PRP treatments are successful, and avoid the pain, disability, down time, and risk associated with major surgery. There is minimal recovery from a stem cell or PRP treatment, usually mediated by soreness in the area that was treated, and there is also a risk of bruising. There have been no reports of serious adverse effects in the scientific literature when adult mesenchymal stem cells are used in these procedures. Afterwards, the patient is encouraged to use the joint normally, and follow up treatments of PRP are given in monthly intervals to continue to allow the stem cells to do their work. Since stem cell treatment is very safe, it can be repeated in the joint if necessary to obtain optimal results. Also, having treatment with stem cells would not make a person ineligible for surgery.
This short video shows one of our patients with severe arthritis and pain in both of his knees. Everyday life, including walking and stairs was painful, and performing any exercise was extremely difficult. Now he is about 3 months after stem cell treatment of both knees, performed at the same time, with minimal recovery, and now look at what he can do!!!
We have had the opportunity to treat anyone from professional athletes to patients who have suffered for decades with chronic pain, and invite you to schedule a consultation with us to see how we can help you.
1. Pak J, Lee JH, Lee SH. Regenerative repair of damaged meniscus with autologous adipose tissue-derived stem cells. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:436029. doi: 10.1155/2014/436029. Epub 2014 Jan 30.
2. Anz AW, Hackel JG, Nilssen EC, Andrews JR. Application of biologics in the treatment of the rotator cuff, meniscus, cartilage, and osteoarthritis. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2014 Feb;22(2):68-79. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-22-02-68.
3. Koh YG, Jo SB, Kwon OR, Suh DS, Lee SW, Park SH, Choi YJ. Mesenchymal Stem Cell Injections Improve Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis. Arthroscopy. 2013 Jan 29. pii: S0749-8063(12)01884-1. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2012.11.017. [Epub ahead of print]
4. Emadedin M, Aghdami N, Taghiyar L, Fazeli R, Moghadasali R, Jahangir S, Farjad R, Baghaban Eslaminejad M. Intra-articular injection of autologous mesenchymal stem cells in six patients with knee osteoarthritis. Arch Iran Med. 2012 Jul;15(7):422-8.
5. Dhinsa BS, Adesida AB. Current clinical therapies for cartilage repair, their limitation and the role of stem cells. Curr Stem Cell Res Ther. 2012 Mar;7(2):143-8.