Who: the patient with symptomatic osteoarthritis of a joint with mild to moderate but not advanced clinical deformity who is not ready for a joint replacement. At times, there may be an indication for a preventive intervention even in the case of minimal symptoms as Stem Cells could reverse the process. At others, Stem Cells may prevent progression. Stem Cells may be indicated in more advanced stages of OA to serve as a long-term anti-inflammatory and improve function.
What: Stem Cells are harvested from bone marrow aspirated from your pelvis. My website and its connections will help take you to the details of the process.
Why: assume you have limitations in a major joint because of trauma induced or age related arthritis. Assume further that you have exhausted the usual not operative course of care including, weight reduction, physical therapy, anti-inflammatories, cortisone injections, visco-supplementation, nutritional supplementation, etc. Are you starting to consider a joint replacement? Regenerative Medicine and Cellular Orthopedics, both based on stem cell intervention are viable, non-operative options. Whether to eliminate pain, restore motion, improve the quality of life, return to fitness and sporting pursuits, stop the progression of arthritis or regrow cartilage, joint replacement might or could be avoided or postponed via stem cell intervention.
When: the best timing is prior to development of deformity and/ or the significant loss of joint motion. Interventions at stage 2 or 3 of degenerative arthritis will have a greater chance of realizing your treatment goals. That being said, there are indications for stem cell interventions in stage 4 arthritis or prior to the onset of symptomatic impairment when arthritic changes are progressing.
Where: as experience is teaching us, most joints in the body show significant positive response to stem cell interventions. That is experience can only be based on that gained from treating and following a significant number of patients. The ” learning curve” for Orthopedic Cellular intervention requires a minimum of 25 procedures; for a non-surgeon, about 50 is a safe number. I will expand under “how”.
How: is the process of proper patient selection. Regenerative Medicine is not for everyone. Next week, I will be presenting my outcomes observations on my first year of Regenerative Medicine interventions. Those clinical studies of stem cell recipients at the hip or knee not only will allow me to improve my patient selection but to determine what procedures work best in the varying clinical settings? As well, I will be helping to establish the parameters of practice for other stem cell practitioners around the country.