More and more patients and physicians are considering stem cells for management of arthritis of the joints. At Native Stem Cell, our treatment regimen is centered around the use of stem cells from your body, specifically from your bone marrow, to control and even reverse the damage of arthritis. These stem cells are extracted from your bone marrow during a simple, in-office procedure and processed using the highest quality equipment and techniques to yield a highly concentrated dose of stem cells. This is referred to as bone marrow aspirate concentrate or BMAC, and is distinct from many other less effective treatments that are marketed as stem cell injections.
BMAC stem cell injections, as opposed to stem cell injections from adipose (fat) tissue or from donated amniotic or placental tissue, are shown to be the most likely to help regrow lost hyaline cartilage in your joints. The articular cartilage in your knees, hips, shoulders and other joints is hyaline cartilage and it is unique in its ability to carry the load and stress of repeated, daily use of these joints.
The ability of BMAC stem cells to assist in the formation of new, load-bearing articular cartilage is what sets it apart from other treatments which may have some pain-relieving or inflammation-reducing effects, but are not able to provide the lasting, long-term relief that patients desire. Additionally, the FDA has issued clear guidance that fat-derived stem cells are not to be used in injections into the joints. Clinics and physicians performing these adipose-derived stem cell injections are doing so in violation of the FDA’s guidance. Likewise, many of the amniotic or placenta based stem cell products are under high scrutiny by the FDA due to misleading and false claims that these products contain live stem cells, when in fact they may contain little more than dead cells and proteins which may have a mild therapeutic benefit, but not lasting relief.
Patients who have osteoarthritis of the joints are likely to be able to achieve a high level of pain relief and increased function with a single BMAC stem cell injection in the joint. Of course, there are many other factors that need to be considered as part of a full treatment regimen including whether any underlying conditions should be addressed before or in conjunction with a BMAC injection, whether the BMAC injection can be augmented with additional treatments such as PRP (see below) or other therapies, and what the best course for follow up care will be. Our orthopedic surgeon and highly trained staff are experts at tailoring the treatment to best suit your condition.