In addition to the usual and customary clinical outcome parameters currently in use, my research initiative also emphasizes a responsible approach; incentivizing patient reporting of long-term outcomes. ~ Mitchell Sheinkop, M.D.
The prospect of stem cell and growth factor injections as a minimally invasive treatment to improve patient function and diminish the symptoms of Osteoarthritis is an appealing concept, one that has created significant buzz in recent years, attracting the attention of the national media and scientific community. The relatively novel treatment is predicated on the idea that it may be possible for stem cells and growth factors to influence cartilage cells and repair a previous area of injury while also inducing an anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving effect. However, there are currently no FDA-approved indications for therapeutic Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) injections; such therapy is only allowed in a Clinical Trial. My use of MSC and Growth Factor injections with full FDA compliance for regenerative and functional improvement therapy continues to grow.
Patients who express interest in stem cell therapies must be prepared to pay out-of-pocket costs to receive these treatments within or outside of participation in clinical trials. Additionally, patients seeking MSC and Growth Factor injection therapy must guard against alternative providers who are untrained in orthopedic interventions and are misleading patients with unproven promises of efficacy. By integrating patient care with clinical outcomes research, I continue to meaningfully add to the clinical body of evidence. That’s why I am able to identify as an Evidence-Based practice.
To illustrate the fruits of my research initiative, I will cite two patient-reported long-term outcomes.
Patient number one is in his mid-70s and became a patient nine years ago after he was told that he “needed” bilateral knee replacements for advanced osteoarthritis. He has completed several bone marrow concentrate and growth factor concentrate procedures over the years. On Saturday, I received an email message indicating that he had completed an eight-day, 900-mile bicycle ride around Lake Michigan.
Patient number two, in her early 60s, is someone I began caring for approximately five years ago, after she had been told that there was a need for a bilateral knee replacement owing to advancing osteoarthritis. Having been referred by my niece, the patient’s co-worker and friend, I had the opportunity to personally observe her last night in a social setting. When the dancing at the wedding started, there she was with her husband on the dance floor no matter what the rhythm and genre of the song being played.
The third patient is me; I could have and did dance all night.
If we take into account all the scientific scores in use for following the outcomes of Orthopedic procedures for osteoarthritis, I believe that patient demonstrations and reporting of long-term outcomes is a reliable testimonial for the evaluation of Stem Cells and Growth Factors in Orthopedics.