This is a cytokine that may neutralize some of the breakdown molecules in degenerating joints. It is found in the circulating blood plasma. There is a centrifuge on the market that can concentrate Alpha 2 Macroglobulin (A2M) from blood, and many doctors who use it like it. As a result, we will run a trial to try it out. The first patients will receive the injection on Wednesday, July 22nd. It will be available for interested patients on a fee for service basis as A2M is not covered by Medicare or private indemnification. The medical claim is that A2M will eliminate pain and improve function in an arthritic joint. It is not new and has been around for four or five years; but evidence is accumulating that this growth factor approach will work effectively in certain populations. It is another potential alternative to surgery that we will soon offer in our office, so stay tuned.
What are Exosomes?
Exosomes are being heralded as the next frontier of cell therapy. While not being cells at all, they play a vital role in the communication and rejuvenation of all the cells in our body. Science has shown that the cell-to cell communication is important in maintaining a healthy cellular terrain.
Age, chronic disease, environmental factors and genetic disorders can interfere with how our stem cells communicate with other cells, thus disrupting the healing process. Exosomes play a key role in the regulation of these communication processes.
What Is Exosome Therapy?
Research has given us a valuable insight into the practical functionality of exosomes. By exposing the cells of an older organism to those of a younger organism we can see that exosomes from the young stem cells are responsible for rejuvenating the older cells. This healing mechanism can now be used in regenerative medicine; and, is gaining traction in orthopedic conditions such as arthritis.
A degenerative disease comes from a continuous deterioration of cells, affecting tissues or organs. While stem cells are usually responsible for the rejuvenation of the cells, external factors may hinder the stem cells in this function. They may not be able to supply all the information needed. Supporting their function with external exosomes could have a greater positive effect, by providing new pieces of information to support the healing process.
To learn more call (847)390-7666 and schedule a consultation. You may visit my web site at www.sheinkopmd.com.
Tags: exosome therapy, Exosomes, what is A2M?
Nonobstructive meniscal tears
There is increasing evidence to suggest that patients with meniscal tears at the knee that do not cause “clunking”, giving way, or locking; hence nonobstructive, may benefit from Cellular Orthopedic intervention coupled with physical therapy. Previous studies involving patients over 45 years of age comparing arthroscopy with physical therapy for nonobstructive meniscal tears as seen on an MRI justify an initial conservative approach; but patient satisfaction may require 24 months to achieve. For those patients who undergo arthroscopic surgery, there is a significant increased risk of repeat knee surgery. In our practice, those patients electing to use the Physical Therapy option without surgery but with a Cellular Orthopedic intervention minimized the length of time needed to return to full activity.
Number of stem cells in amniotic fluid
The functionality of stem cells in amniotic fluid as sold today is a myth. Research shows that 250cc of fresh C-section delivered amniotic fluid, when introduced immediately into culture, only yields 40 stem cells. This means there are 0.16 stem cells per 1 cc of full-term amniotic fluid. Scientific literature referred to by the amniotic fluid marketing forces is based on amniotic fluid collected early in pregnancy.
Acetabular Labral Tear
A hip (acetabular) labral tear is damage to cartilage and tissue in the hip socket. In some cases, it causes no symptoms. In others it causes pain in the groin. Just because a tear is seen in the hip labrum on an MRI, it does not mean the tear is necessarily the cause of the pain. Before initiating treatment, the orthopedic surgeon must exclude that an underlying arthritic condition within the hip is not the real pain generator. More recently recognized is predisposition for a tear in those with abnormal acetabular architecture.
On biologics for knee osteoarthritis
Orthobiologics may become a mainstream treatment for knee osteoarthritis. While Platelet-rich plasma and hyaluronic acid injections are the most established biologics-based treatments for knee osteoarthritis so far, it’s not too early to make confident use of stem cells. At the same time, I must continually warn patients to be particularly careful about claims for these substances. All recommendations for intervention must be FDA compliant and evidence based. (To learn about my contributions to the cellular orthopedic scientific evidence, visit www.sheinkopmd.com. Under the information bullet on the top, you will find published articles)
Eventually, I believe the science and FDA will triumph over quackery and orthobiologics will become an essential part of every knee surgeon’s armamentarium. Available orthobiologics, include:
- Hyaluronic acid
- Platelet-rich plasma
- Cytokine modulation
- Stem Cells
- Adipose tissue
To learn more or to schedule an evidence based consultation, call (847) 390-7666
Tags: adipose tissue, amniotic fluid, biologics, bone marrow, cytokine modulation, Exosomes, fat, hyaluronic, joint, labral tear, Micro-Fractured Adipose, orthobiologics, Osteoarthritis, pain, Platelet Rich Plasma, PRP, renovation, stem cell, torn meniscus
Mesenchymal Stem Cells, or MSCs, are multipotent stromal cells that can differentiate into a variety of cell types or affect other cells by releasing the proteins categorized as Cytokines and Exosomes. Cytokines are small proteins that are important in cell signaling. The process is quite complex but this introduction allows me to help you better understand the Regenerative Medicine world.
The patient who called this morning indicated that she had not experienced any benefit form an orthobiologic intervention she had several weeks ago; yet on Friday, several patients reported satisfaction and our outcomes surveillance documented significant functional improvement as well. Why the variability in response? Perhaps it might or could be explained by the genetic makeup of the individual’s cartilage or the nature of the biologic intervention. In the current regenerative marketplace, I note advertisements for Amniotic Fluid, Cord Blood, Wharton’s Jelly, Exosomes, Adipose derived and bone marrow derived interventions.
The long-term durability of our cellular orthopedic treatment has been documented in patients for at least five years. The observation of this response is significant, as steroids and viscosupplementation have typically shown to be effective in relieving pain respectively for up to 6 weeks and 6 months. Our earlier research has documented a six-month average response to amniotic fluid and an average 18-month improvement to mechanically processed adipose tissue. Our current biologic interventions contain high concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines and anabolic growth factors in addition to Mesenchymal Stem Cells, all modifying the course of disease progression. The short-term pain relief observed is due to the anti-inflammatory effects of the biologics used in the interventions. The long-term pain relief is attributed to potential disease-modifying properties by improving joint homeostasis and cartilage quality. We believe our biologic interventions to be disease-modifying.
What is next? While most readers of this Blog are familiar with the regenerative alternatives, Exosomes are new and there is little if any clinical data available to allow me to opine about clinical usage including safety and efficacy at this time. They are cell-derived vesicles (a small membrane-bound sack that stores and transports substances though out the cell or outside the cell) present in bodily fluids as well as in extracellular matrix. Evidence is accumulating that they play a key role in signaling between cells and may function as a potent anti-inflammatory and disease modifier depending on the environment from which the Exosome is recovered. While the use of non-autologous stem cells is not FDA compliant, to the best of my knowledge, Exosomes produced by Mesenchymal Stem Cells are not restricted and are now being made available for clinical use in arthritis. Stay tuned as we continue to document successes, safety and efficacy in the world of Orthobiologics. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling (847) 390-7666.
Tags: arthritis, biologics, cytokines, Exosomes, Growth Factor Concentrate, Growth Factors, Mesenchymal Stem Cell, MSC, OA, viscosupplementation
On Wednesday, I completed several bone marrow concentrate procedures for patients with arthritic knees. You will recall that Concentrated Bone Marrow contains living Adult Mesenchymal Stem Cells, Growth Factors, Platelets, Exosomes, Precursor Cells and more allowing for pain relief, improved function and possible regeneration in those afflicted by arthritis. In the afternoon, four patients underwent Autologous Platelet and Growth Factor interventions; two in the hip and two in their knees. An example of the outcome, now four months following intervention in my own knees and hips, I spent last weekend hiking along several spring creeks, fly fishing in Southwest Wisconsin in the morning and planting over 150 Lilly bulbs in the afternoon. Admittedly, I slept well on Saturday and Sunday night but visited the health club on these past Tuesday and Wednesday evenings for my fitness routines.
On Monday, we finalized and edited a manuscript reporting the results of 56 patients with arthritic knees, followed for 2 to 4 years having received Bone Marrow Concentrate. Using the same outcome metrics and statistical tabulation methods I had employed as a joint replacement surgeon, this study is one of the most significant trials ever completed and to be published in Cellular Orthopedics. Our study not only will help determine the indications for a “stem cell” procedure, but also assist in determining how long the benefits will last, and provide a road map for when adjunct or repeat interventions are indicated. Now the physician will be better prepared to help a patient decide between a Total Joint Replacement and a Cellular Orthopedic intervention on an evidence based knowledge.
I am writing this Blog while flying to San Jose, California where I am partaking in advanced training that will allow me to expand my regenerative medicine practice to the low back. Again and again, patients ask as to what I might offer to address low back pain and disc disease now that I have successfully intervened in an arthritic hip or knee. Indications and techniques for addressing the lumbar spine will make up the curriculum enabling me to add discogenic and degenerative arthritic conditions of the low back to my scope of regenerative care by mid May.
To the patient who called, “I heard through the grapevine that it doesn’t work”, you may avoid falling victim to the Fake Stem Cell claims in newspaper ads or via celebrity testimonials; those in amniotic fluid are dead on arrival to you. Seek scientific evidence at (847) 390-7666 or learn more on my web site where you may watch my webinar www.Ilcellulartherapy.com.
Tags: Adult Mesenchymal Stem Cells, arthritic conditions, back pain, cellular orthopedics, Concentrated Bone Marrow, degenerative disc disease, discogenic, Exosomes, Growth Factors, Hip pain, joint pain, knee pain, Osteoarthritis, platelets, Precursor Cells, Regenerative Pain Center, shoulder pain, stem cell therapy