There is no real relationship as suggested in the title above but that doesn’t stop the increasing interest of patients seeking to avoid joint replacement surgery by choosing stem cell intervention. Today, Wednesday, August 28, we had two patients who underwent the Regenexx SD Plus procedure; that’s the procedure we hope will eliminate the concept of expanding stem cells by culture. Following FDA guidelines, we aspirate the bone marrow per Regenexx protocol, and without manipulating the aspirate or adding anything, we believe we have developed a better methodology for capturing the existing stem cells in the bone marrow aspirate. I have completed four such procedures in the last two weeks and there is increasing interest as indicated by the new patient requests. When you compare the possibilities of reversing and controlling the effects of osteoarthritis with the Regenexx SD Plus technique, one has to take pause when surfing the internet at those web sites that promote adipose, synovial and amnio derived stem cells. In addition to having no scientific basis, these latter sources are not FDA approved. Even if they were FDA sanctioned, there is no clinical proof of efficacy to be found in clinical trials. To take my internet surfing experience to the next level of discussion, I am continuingly amazed to find Regenerative Medicine alternative providers who use other than the pelvis as an advertised resource for stem cells. While there might have been an abundance of bone marrow and stem cells throughout the skeleton in the aspirate of childhood, there is a paucity of stem cells outside of the pelvis in the adult.
Let’s return now to the real message of this Blog, stem cells and improving quality of life while avoiding a joint replacement. A new patient presented on Tuesday after having seen a noted joint replacement expert in the community who told her he would use stem cells rather than cement when completing her hip replacement to secure the prosthesis. This is from an orthopedic surgeon who previously had been critical of cellular orthopedics. Prosthetic joints may either be secured by cement or biologic in growth. Heretofore, the biologic stabilization has been attributed to bone in growth. This is the first I have heard of stem cells being the primary factor behind a stable joint replacement but it makes sense if we look at stem cells and trauma. At any rate, the basic ingredient as presented by a joint replacement expert is the stem cell. That’s the centerpiece of what I use to avoid a joint replacement. It looks like the orthopedic world is beginning to acknowledge our premise.