- Stem Cells and joint pain – an alternative to endoprosthesis?
- What are Stem Cells?
- How do we obtain Stem Cells?
- Conditions treated through the assistance of stem cells
- The future of stem cells in orthopedics
Developments in medicine in recent years have become an extraordinary opportunity for patients to maintain agility longer and treat many conditions which, until now, have been impossible to overcome. The future lies in regenerative medicine using Stem Cells. But even now the specialized center of regenerative medicine SPORT-MED offers patients therapy using Stem Cells! MSC (Mesenchymal Stem Cells) make possible the replacement of damaged or unhealthy tissues, thanks to their irreplaceable ability to differentiate into all of the other cells in our bodies. Dr. Jan Paradowski uses Stem Cells in agreement with the trend outlined by the International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) – of which he is a member – during the main International Conference ICRS 2013 in Izmir, Turkey. Mesenchymal Stem Cells used in sports medicine and orthopedics reduce pain and return function to joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments (regeneration). More often new therapies (biological, Orthokine anti-inflammatory therapy, GPS platelet-rich plasma (PRP), and Stem Cells in particular) may be used instead of conducting endoprosthesis or extending time to an operation, offering the pleasure of using one’s own joint! For patients who must receive operational treatment, contemporary orthopedics has miniinvasional treatments to offer, characterized by lower risk and quick return to activity. After an initial treatment there is often the possibility of using Stem Cells additionally.
Please note – We are the only center in Poland that has introduced an innovative method that combines biological therapies including Stem Cell Therapy, which enhances their positive effect. Find out more at a doctor’s visit with Dr. Jan Paradowski.
Read more about your orthopedic Stem Cell Therapy – click here
Each of our bodies is built from thousands of cells of various types which are responsible for fulfilling diverse activities. For example: nephron cells cleanse the blood and produce urine; cells of the heart muscle are responsible for its contractions, electricity flowing from neurons enables us to live and think and also informs the entire body. The beginning of each of these differentiated cells, however, had its place in embryonic stem cells – groups of cells that have two amazing abilities:
- to divide a potentially unlimited number of times (“reproduction,” creation of next cells),
- to differentiate into other cells.
In the process of the aging of the organism or for other reasons (injury, heart attack, inflammation, infection), cells die. It is just then that stem cells activate in order to rebuild the damaged ones. With age and the aging of the surrounding tissues, stem cells lose their ability to intensively regenerate. That is why in the therapy process we use a method that concentrates stem cells so that the concentrated material may be injected precisely into the appropriate location.
Thanks to developments in medicine it is now possible to obtain stem cells from the adult tissues of every organism, not just from egg cells, embryos or the umbilical blood of a newborn, as before! Cells like these are largely isolated from bone marrow and blood in circulation. In orthopedic studies stem cells are also obtained from fat tissue and the synovial membrane of joints.
In the process of preparation for therapy, a bone marrow sample containing stem cells is taken from the hip bone of the patient via a small puncture in the skin. The stem cell extraction procedure is completely safe for the patient. The obtained bone marrow preparation containing stem cells then undergoes appropriate cleansing and concentration treatments, and the solution is injected by the doctor in the treated location. Cells reproduce and take over the function of ill tissue, and the results are impressive!
After the stem cell injection procedure, doctor check-ups and physical rehabilitation play an important role in the process of returning agility. Individually-designed rehabilitation plans depend on the type of condition treated and the age and state of health of the patient. Physical rehabilitation should be conducted systematically for a minimum of 6 weeks after the procedure. This is an inseparable part of post-operative activity, so that the results completely satisfy the patient.
It turns out that stem cell therapy may be a great opportunity in the treatment of professional athletes, individuals performing sport recreationally and the young and old. Therapy may return ability to patients suffering from rheumatism (largely hip and knee) and sometimes may eliminate or delay the necessity of joint endoprothesoplasty.
The following conditions have been treated in Stem Cell therapy:
- degenerative changes and pain in the knee joint, hip joint, shoulder and other joints
- injuries and reconstruction of the joint cartilage, reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament and regeneration of the knee meniscus
- injury to muscles, ligaments and strained tendons
- torn tendo-osseous metaplasia (e.g. hamstrings, biceps and others)
- assisting the healing of bone growth anomalies (delayed bone growth, lack of bone growth, pseudoarthrosis)
- damage to the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee (ACL)
Publications to date indicate that the use of stem cells also brings the best effects:
In bone tissue
- Stem cells of the bone marrow may significantly improve the creation of bone tissue in the case of lack of regeneration
- Bone marrow stem cells may significantly reduce joint pain and increase the activity of the joint in the case of bone necrosis
- An allo transplant enriched with bone marrow stem cells is just as effective as an auto transplant in the case of bone transplants and spinal fusion procedures
In tissues (beyond orthopedic uses)
- Bone marrow stem cells may induce healing in the case of resistant chronic wounds and diabetes boils
- Bone marrow stem cells may assist revascularization in the case of insufficient circulation in limbs
- Bone marrow stem cells may assist circulatory anastomosis
- Bone marrow stem cells may prevent the creation of scar tissue and maintain heart function after a heart attack
- Bone marrow stem cells may reduce illness, loss of blood and operation time
- Bone marrow aspirate contains white blood cells that play a key role in fighting infection
Obtaining Stem Cells
Systems of obtaining the cell preparation allow for the easy and effective concentration of stem cells from the iliac crest and their transferal to the place of operation, either with or without the transplant material. The function that allows the retrieval and concentration of the population of nucleated cells limits the problem of thinning of circulatory blood during bone marrow aspiration.
These systems take advantage of the proven technology of concentrating powerful stem cells that are retrieved with the help of an aspiration needle.
Thanks to modern technology, stem cells may be concentrated where patient therapy is being conducted. Clinical results suggest that a concentration of stem cells has a positive effect on the results of clinical procedures, e.g., bone transplant.
Possible uses of the concentration system - Orthopedics:
- delayed growth and lack of growth
- avascular necrosis
- spinal fusion
- cartilage regeneration
- bone necrosis
- bone regeneration
- bone cysts
Currently, stem cells offer an opportunity for patients to address the regeneration of damaged cartilage, joint pain and anomalies in bone growth. In the USA, scientific studies are underway that use stem cells in the non-operational treatment of a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and other damaged motor organs. Combined operational therapy (most often arthroscopy) and stem cells are becoming increasingly common alternatives to alloplastic (endoprosthesoplasty) treatments. Stem cell therapy in combination with a properly chosen rehabilitation scheme may return patients to effective performance of their daily routine, and professional athletes to their best form. The use of one’s own cells to cure health conditions is one of the most innovative therapeutic methods in orthopedics, with wide horizons for further development.