Treatment Of Osteoarthritis Has Entered A Golden Age
The definition of osteoarthritis sounds so simple: a form of arthritis that happens when the protective cartilage that covers the ends of bones wears down. Such a simply explained condition should be just as easily treated, right? There must be some way to replace or re-knit the fabric of the deteriorated cartilage in this day and age. Twenty years ago if you had asked that question, the answer likely would have disappointed you. But today, that question is answered through regenerative medicine methods like stem cell therapy and platelet rich plasma treatments.
NSI Stem Cell Centers in Florida see a lot of patients who suffer from both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. While these are separate degenerative conditions, the result of both is the degradation of the protective joint materials that cushion the ends of the bones and allow free and natural movement. Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are progressive conditions that can result in chronic pain and severely limit a person’s ability to walk, fully move their arms, or even grip properly.
Prior to the dawn of regenerative medicine, there was little that could be done for those who suffer from osteoarthritis. Drugs might relieve symptoms for a while, but they often lose their efficacy. Invasive and painful surgery was often the last resort. But short of a “magic pill” that re-grew new cartilage, reduced inflammation, and repaired the damage caused by arthritis little else could be done.
We now know that the “magic pill” is the field of regenerative medicine.
Why Stem Cell Therapy Works For Osteoarthritis
Stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis is becoming a highly sought after alternative to total joint replacement. Far less invasive and with no need for long periods of recovery or rehabilitation, stem cell treatments for osteoarthritis are becoming widely known to the public. But people are also turning to stem cells to reduce or -in many cases- eliminate the need for arthritis medication. For people whose osteoarthritis has progressed to the point where they must depend on steroid or opioid based medications, stem cell therapy can make a dramatic difference in reducing dosage needs.
Stem cells have been shown to repair and re-grow cartilage and improve the integration of newly formed tissue within the arthritic joint. Stem cells also have anti-inflammatory properties, which act to enhance the stem cell’s ability to regenerate new joint tissue and promote healing. All of this is integral in healing, and even reversing, the effects of osteoarthritis.
What Is A Stem Cell?
A stem cell is one that can differentiate into specific cell types. Stem cells are the body’s “shape shifters.” They circulate within the body throughout life waiting to become whatever type of cell is needed for regeneration, repair, healing, and wellness. Whether we are sick or injured, it is the stem cell that begins the act of cell and tissue repair and regeneration.
They can be harvested in many ways. But the most recent development in regenerative medicine involves a harvesting technique that is ushering in a golden age of treatment not just for osteoarthritis, but for an ever-growing list of illnesses, injuries, and chronic conditions. These include treatments for activity-related injuries, organ-related illnesses, autoimmune conditions, and neurological disorders.
How Do Stem Cells Become A Medical Treatment?
An advance medical clinic like NSI uses an FDA guidelines-compliant procedure. It begins with a minimally invasive harvesting technique that takes a small sample of the patient’s fatty tissue that lies just beneath the skin. This fatty layer is known as adipose fat. It is a particularly rich source of abundant and potent stem cells.
The sample is generally taken from the patient’s thigh, buttock, or abdomen. There is no need for general anesthesia. The harvest is so small and easily accessed that only a local anesthetic is needed at the place where the sample is taken. The sample then undergoes a process called centrifugation, which separates the stem cells from the rest of the fatty tissue. This renders a highly concentrated amount of exceptionally potent adipose stem cells. A serum is then made, and this high concentrate of stem cells is injected back into the patient.
Adipose stem cell based therapy is safe, effective, and completed on an outpatient basis. From the harvest to the therapeutic injection, the procedure is done in a matter of hours. The patient returns home afterward with no need for recovery or downtime. Risk of rejection is extremely low, because the stem cells are the patient’s own.
The treatment for osteoarthritis also includes the use of platelet rich plasma (PRP). This partnership between adipose stem cells and PRP enhances and fortifies the healing process through the addition of the natural growth factors and cytokines within platelet rich plasma. Together, adipose stem cells and PRP deliver an exceptional quantity of healing cells directly to the area of osteoarthritis. As with the stem cells, the healing elements of PRP also come from the patient’s own body, making the healing natural and virtually risk-free.
As the stem cells migrate to the area of osteoarthritis, they are already beginning to multiply and receive signals telling them what types of cells to become in order to begin healing and repairing. These cell types will include cartilage, bone, and any soft tissue around the joints in need of regeneration. The adipose stem cells will also release anti-inflammatory qualities that reduce inflammation and swelling even as new tissue and cartilage is being repaired and regenerated. Meanwhile, the PRP dramatically boosts the stem cells’ innate healing qualities while also contributing its own regenerative qualities to the therapy.
Many patients report relief in a matter of days. But it is important to keep in mind that each patient is different. However, relief and increased joint mobility is usually felt within a few weeks of treatment. The improvement may continue for several more weeks before reaching a consistent level of pain reduction and range of movement. The repetition of treatments will depend on the severity of the osteoarthritis.
Learn More At NSI Stem Cell Centers
NSI Stem Cell Centers exclusively use an FDA guidelines-compliant procedure for our osteoarthritis stem cell treatments. The physicians and medical staff of NSI are always happy to answer your questions about arthritis therapy through regenerative medicine.
You can learn much more about how regenerative medicine is changing the way osteoarthritis is being treated by calling NSI Stem Cell Centers at (877) 278-3623, or using the website contact page.
Also available is a FREE brochure for downloading. It outlines all of NSI’s regenerative therapies and treatments. And patients’ success stories about their treatments for osteoarthritis can be seen on NSI’s YouTube channel.
We look forward to hearing from you.