Stem cells for the treatment of knee pain

Stem CellsThe advent of regenerative orthopedics and stem cell therapy has offered a new alternative before choosing joint replacement surgery. Both fat derived and bone marrow derived stem cells have been used in this setting with promising initial results.

What is a stem cell ?

A stem cell is a cell that can become many things. Think of how we all develop from just a few cells into an entire person. As adults, our bodies store stem cells in our bone marrow, our fat, and in other sites. These stem cells are made by our own bodies. They have the potential to become a variety of cells.

How do we collect stem cells ?

Stem cells are currently obtained in one of two ways. First, stem cells from fat are obtained from a small liposuction procedure, usually from fat around the flank region where fat has robust blood supply. Second, stem cells are obtained from bone marrow. This is done by taking out a small sample from the pelvic bone. There is no final consensus on the best source. There is a separation step to concentrate the cells, and then they are ready for use.

How are they placed in the knee ?

Stem cells are injected into the joint like any other knee injection, typically using ultrasound guidance.

Do stem cells cure osteoarthritis ?

The use of stem cells is still considered experimental with some anecdotal evidence that they may help regenerate cartilage in a joint. There is no proof and we cannot make any claim that it will be successful. As there is no long term data, we cannot know for sure how patients will respond over time. On the other hand, we can say that many people have stated improvement after stem cell treatment.

We are excited as we attempt to expand the cutting edge regenerative treatment options available today for knee pain, osteoarthritis and knee injuries.

As Dr. Hacker treats knee conditions of all kinds, he is well-versed in the appropriate application of nonoperative, arthroscopic treatments and regenerative treatments including stem cell therapy treatments. For a consultation to see if this is right for you, please click below or contact his office at 619–462-3131.