Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA), also called degenerative joint disease, is one of the most common conditions of aging joints. Cartilage is a firm, flexible, connective tissue found in many parts of the body that permits nearly frictionless joint motion. Osteoarthritis happens when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in the joints gradually deteriorates.

In osteoarthritis, the slick surface of the cartilage becomes rough. Eventually, if the cartilage wears completely down, what is left is bone rubbing on bone. Loss of function, poor range of motion and persistent joint pain are just some of the ways this degenerative disease impacts daily living.

Stem Cell Therapy and Osteoarthritis

Adult stem cell therapy is a minimally-invasive approach to treating the structural and systemic aspects of joint pain for a better quality of life. It can also provide pain relief, improve range of motion and reduce scarring in even severe cases of degenerated joints.

Adipose (fat) tissue is the most accessible, abundant and potent source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), the key adult “repair” cell found in all tissues and organs of the body. The combination of adult stem and regenerative cells found in adipose tissue have the potential to:

  • Address widespread inflammation
  • Turn into replacement bone and cartilage cells
  • Prevent further premature cell and tissue death
  • Reduce scarring
  • Modulate abnormal immune responses
  • Stimulate the growth of new blood vessels for better blood flow

Adult stem cell therapy can really improve or prevent severe osteoarthritis by regrowing cartilage and decreasing inflammation of bone edema. If treated early, the real goal is to prevent the progression of the loss of cartilage, bone-on-bone damage, and severe pain. If treated later, the goal is to regrow cartilage or decrease bone inflammation and edema so that patients get relief and can return to activities of daily living.

The benefits of stem cell therapy can last months to years, with patients reporting less pain, more activity and more motion. But, stem cells cannot solve mechanical problems, such as a fracture or free piece of bone, which will require surgery. However, problems with missing tissue, inflammation and degeneration can benefit greatly from stem cells.

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:

Watch our video about stem cell therapy and joint pain & injury:

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/

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

MSCs: The Sentinel and Safe-Guards of Injury (July, 2016) in Journal of Cellular Physiology. Abstract retrieved from http://www.pubfacts.com/detail/26565391/MSCs-The-Sentinel-and-Safe-Guards-of-Injury

Clinical Applications of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Chronic Diseases (30 April 2014) in Stem Cells International. Retrieved from http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sci/2014/306573/

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/

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/

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/

Adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal/stem cells: An update on their phenotype in vivo and in vitro (July 26, 2014) in World Journal of Stem Cells. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4131268/

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

Osteoarthritis

Often called “wear-and-tear arthritis,” osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of bones wears down over time, leaving a patient with the feeling of bone rubbing on bone, pain, drug dependence or some degree of disability. Patients who experience debilitating pain might face orthopedic surgery or joint replacement due to sports injuries, arthritis and other medical conditions.