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Stem cell treatment for knee osteoarthritis
Use in surgery or injections alone?
It is becoming more and more apparent that stem cell injection therapy will be the orthopedic treatment of choice for a new generation of orthopedists. Why the confidence in saying this? Because stem cell therapy is becoming thoroughly embraced by the surgical community.
Please read the opening of this study’s abstract, it is amazing.
“Osteochondral lesions of the knee (cartilage) are a common cause of knee pain and associated diseases. A new bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells technique has been developed for the treatment of osteochondral lesions of the knee (OLK). Thirty patients with OLK underwent arthroscopic one-step procedure. The bone marrow was harvested from the patients’ posterior iliac crest and arthroscopically implanted with a scaffold into the lesion site. . .Control MRI and bioptic samples showed an osteochondral regeneration of the lesion site. The one-step technique appears to be a good and reliable option for treatment of OLK at three years of follow-up.”1
Incredible. A new technique has been developed – surgery! Albeit it is a new technique to actually reduce the number of surgeries that might be need to offer stem cell treatments.
For the Comprehensive Prolotherapy skeptic, can there be more compelling evidence of the confidence in stem cell therapy as a major tool in the regeneration of cartilage and damaged tissue than the need to develop proper surgical interventions?
“Outcomes after tendon repair are often unsatisfactory, despite improvements in surgical techniques and rehabilitation methods. Recent studies aimed at enhancing repair have targeted the paucicellular nature of tendon for enhancing repair; however, most approaches for delivering growth factors and cells have not been designed for dense connective tissues such as tendon. Therefore, we developed a scaffold capable of delivering growth factors and cells in a surgically manageable form for tendon repair.”2
Stem cell injections
Surgeons can give injections too. Writing in the medical journal titled Arthroscopy, researcher surgeons found that the results of their study showed: “intra-articular injection of infrapatellar fat pad-derived mesenchymal stem cells is effective for reducing pain and improving knee function in patients being treated for knee osteoarthritis.”3 But a surgery was still involved, the stem cells from the kneecap area was harvested at the arthroscopic lateral portal site after the patient underwent arthroscopic debridement.
Stem Cell Therapy is, in our opinion, an alternative to surgery because most times the injections work better than the surgical introduction of stem cells. There are also less risks, faster healing, etc. Recently we spoke about the surgical options and alternatives in our article Stem Cell Prolotherapy Alternative Option to Knee Replacement, ACL Surgery. In our opinion, the best use of stem cells is via Stem Cell Prolotherapy.
Questions? Contact us.
1. Buda R, Vannini F, Cavallo M, Baldassarri M, Luciani D, Mazzotti A, Pungetti C, Olivieri A, Giannini S. One-step arthroscopic technique for the treatment of osteochondral lesions of the knee with bone-marrow-derived cells: three years results. Musculoskelet Surg. 2013 Feb 19. [Epub ahead of print]
2. Manning CN, Schwartz AG, Liu W, Xie J, Havlioglu N, Sakiyama-Elbert SE, Silva MJ, Xia Y, Gelberman RH, Thomopoulos S. Acta Biomater. 2013 Feb 13. pii: S1742-7061(13)00065-2. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2013.02.008. [Epub ahead of print]
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]