Experts are trying to understand more on how stem cells can help treat arthritis in the knee as well as other joints. Some of the eminent hip and knee surgery specialists strongly recommend the use stem cell therapy in the treatment of arthritis. However, at present, it is not considered a standard treatment.
There is significant ongoing research on the topic of using stem cells for treating various conditions. It is judicious for potential patients to gather more information on stem cells and the research around their utilization in arthritis therapy.
Orthopedic Institute of the West, led by board certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Brandon Gough, provides advanced treatments for arthritis to patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Arizona, and surrounding towns and neighborhoods in this profound region of the country.
Why are Stem Cells special?
Stems cells are found throughout the human body. They are special cells as they can:
- Divide and create more stem cells.
- Develop into various other types of cells. By itself, a stem cell does not serve the body in any manner. However, it can develop itself into a cell that can be useful to the body, such as a bone or cartilage cell.
Stem cell therapy advocates elaborate that when these cells are placed in a specific environment, they can transform themselves to cater to a specific need. For instance, if stem cells are positioned near compromised cartilage, they are hypothesized to develop into cartilage cells.
How are Stem Cells Used in Arthritis Treatment?
The hip and knee surgeon can place stem cells during a surgical procedure such as a knee surgery to address a torn knee meniscus. In addition, it can be injected precisely into the arthritic joint.
Many surgeons use medical imaging when injecting stem cells. Imaging tools such as ultrasound help deliver the cells accurately in the area of cartilage damage.
Where do the Stem Cells come from?
The most commonly used stem cells in arthritis treatment are known as mesenchymal stem cells. These stem cells are typically gathered from the patient’s blood, fat tissue, or bone marrow. Accumulating cells is also known as harvesting.
Surgery or liposuction is the standard means of adipose (fat) stem cell harvesting. The patient’s blood sample is used to harvest peripheral blood stem cells which are found in the bloodstream. The patient’s bones are used to harvest bone marrow stem cells.
The bone marrow is typically retrieved from the pelvic bone via a needle and a syringe. This process is known as bone marrow aspiration. The patient is administered with a local anesthetic and may also be given a sedative prior to this procedure.
Candidates for Stem Cell Therapy for Arthritis
Professional medical guidelines for people who can and cannot receive stem cell therapy for arthritis are not established. Currently, patients and doctors undertake the decision on receiving stem cell therapy.
There exists some evidence that patients with severe arthritis may find stem cell therapy beneficial. A significant part of the research suggests that patients who are younger with comparatively mild osteoarthritis or cartilage damage may find stem cell therapy most advantageous.
Some surgeons recommend stem cell therapy to patients on the basis of specific criteria. For instance, they may recommend this therapy to patients who are healthy and have only minor cartilage damage. Other surgeons recommend this therapy on the basis of the individual circumstances of the case as necessary.
Cordial board certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Brandon Gough receives patients from Phoenix, Scottsdale, Arizona, and nearby areas in central Arizona for hip and knee surgery.
For more information about hip and knee procedures and treatments by Arizona Board certified orthopaedic surgeon, Brandon Gough, M.D., please click here or call us at 623-873-8565. Taking new patients in and around Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe, Mesa and surrounding Arizona cities.