Knee Pain & Injuries

For most people, the thought of undergoing painful knee replacement surgery is something they would rather avoid. Patients come to Okyanos at the point where they can no longer do the things they like to do, and their only option is knee replacement. Instead, they are seeking stem cell therapy in an attempt to either delay or prevent going “under the knife.”

What can stem cell therapy do for knee pain and injuries?

Using a patient’s own stem cells derived from adipose (fat) tissue can help to:

  • Decrease inflammation
  • Induce cartilage regrowth
  • Decrease bone swelling
  • Improve healing

Similarly, we use stem cell therapy for patients who have had recent orthopedic surgery, such as an ACL repair or meniscal cutting, to try and improve the healing of that knee without the formation of scarring (fibrosis). Stem cells can also help avoid any long-term adverse effects of having had orthopedic surgery.

Stromal vascular fraction (SVF) is a rich mixture of stem cells that contain a variety of regenerative cells. While mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) aid in the tissue repair process, endothelial progenitor cells can help nourish the cartilage by improving the blood supply.

By adding an IV infusion along with direct delivery of stem cells to the joint, we can potentially activate the bone marrow that sits at the end of the bone near the knee to encourage stem cell support of that tissue.

The benefits of stem cell therapy can last months to years, with patients reporting less pain, more activity and more motion. Retreatment of knees and other orthopedic conditions is available and offered on a case-by-case basis.

The Procedure

Stem cell treatment at Okyanos is a minimally invasive, same-day, outpatient procedure. Though recovery varies from patient-to-patient, our protocols are designed and carried out with the goal of keeping downtime to a minimum. A general overview of the procedure is as follows:

  1. First, water-assisted fat harvesting is done to obtain a sufficient amount of adipose (fat) tissue.
  2. The unique blend of stem and regenerative cells that exist in adipose tissue are isolated and prepared for delivery using a proprietary closed/sterile, fully automated cell processing system. In about 65 minutes, the highly potent SVF is ready for direct injections and IV infusions.
  3. Our expertly-trained orthopedists will perform direct injections under ultrasound or 2D-fluoroscopic guidance to ensure proper placement of the cells.
  4. The SVF/stem cells might also be administered intravenously (IV) to address the systemic factors relating to orthopedic dysfunction.

The Best Care & Safety

Treatment timeframes are usually three days and might vary depending on the personalized plan:

  1. Day 1: Pre-operative session includes an office visit with the medical staff for a detailed review of the patient’s treatment plan and an opportunity to discuss any questions from the patient and family members.
  2. Day 2: The patient undergoes treatment and briefly rests in our comfortable facility before being escorted back to the hotel for the evening.
  3. Day 3: Post-operative session involves a brief physical at Okyanos and a discharge plan discussion. The physician reviews the post treatment recommendations and communication plan, and clears the patient to go home.

For a more detailed understanding of what to expect, watch the below video series with Gretchen Dezelick, RN and Director of Clinical Operations:

For a detailed understanding of stem cell safety at Okyanos, watch our video below.

References 

Therapeutic Potential of Stem Cells in Orthopedics (January-February, 2012) in Indian Journal of Orthopaedics. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3270604/

Role of Inflammation in the Pathogenesis of Osteoarthritis: Latest Findings and Interpretations (April, 2013) in Therapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3638313/

Application of Stem Cells in Orthopedics (2012) in Stem Cells International, volume 2012 article ID 394962. Retrieved from http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sci/2012/394962/

Michalek J, Dudasova Z, Kristkova Z, Darinskas A, Lukac L, Chaloupka A, Moster R. Stem Cell Therapy of Osteoarthritis Using Stromal Vascular Fraction Cells—Proceeding of the STEMSO Conference (2014) in CellR4. Retrieved from http://www.cellr4.org/article/778

Therapeutic Application of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Orthopaedics (April, 2005) in Pathologie Biologie. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15781372

Application of Stem Cells in Orthopedics (2012) in Stem Cells International, volume 2012 article ID 394962. Retrieved from http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sci/2012/394962/