Cell therapy in orthopedics represents a cutting edge approach to the healing of osteoarthritis and other orthopedic conditions. Over the past several years, the use of biologic treatments such as platelet rich plasma and stem cell therapy has shown great promise. This is a new evolving field in orthopedics and considered to be experimental.

First, the definition of stem cells used for orthopedic applications are not embryonic stem cells, but rather cells taken directly from the patient. These cells can be harvested from fat or from bone marrow. Surprisingly, fat tissue, or adipose tissue, contains relatively high concentrations of these stem cells.

There have been numerous studies to date that show promising results. A double-blinded study used cell therapy in dogs to treat osteoarthritis. Animals were treated for osteoarhtritis of the hip with stem cells in one group, a placebo in another. The placebo group received their stem cells 3 months later. The results showed statistically better pain scores several weeks after treatment in both groups based on when they received the real treatment.

In humans, a group of 18 patients were treated with adipose-derived stem cells for osteoarthritis of the knee. Follow up data were collected for 2 years. Overall improvement in pain scores were noted at 2 years, as well as improvement in cartilage on MRI. Correlation was noted between increased number of cells given and improved pain relief.
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These examples illustrate the promise of stem cells in osteoarthritis. Methods of cell harvest, tissue processing and storage techniques are evolving as the field develops quickly.

Dr. Hacker’s office has nearly completed setup of a protocol for stem cell treatments for various orthopedic conditions.  This cutting edge treatment opportunity will be available shortly.  If you are interested in learning more about our treatment here in San Diego, please contact the office (phone number at top of screen), at stemcell@drscotthacker.com or with this form:”
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