One of the most successful applications of stem cell treatments and technology is in orthopedic conditions, specifically osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the degeneration, or “wear and tear,” of the cartilage. Cartilage acts as a cushion for the joints. More than 70 million Americans are suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee, shoulder or hip. Unfortunately, the process of degeneration is almost irreversible.
Most treatments are designed to control the pain temporarily. As a last resort, the affected joint is replaced by a prosthetic device. Every year we spend $150 million treating osteoarthritis (OA).
In the last 7 years, we have treated more than 2,000 patients with various stem cell therapies.
Compared to surgery, the safety of stem cell therapy is impressive. There are no reported long term complications in the thousands of patients who have been treated since 2005.
More than 80% of patients report decreased pain and increased mobility in the first 6 to 12 months. It cannot be overlooked that no other medication or therapy currently in use has such a good track record.
We first assess the patient using an MRI or CT scan, and then classify the cartilage damage. Using this information, as well as symptoms reported by the patient, we then decide the best combination of therapies to use.