Mesenchymal Stem Cells For Knee Arthritis
Dr. Warner here –
As you probably already know, knee arthritis is very painful and causes decreased function. Knee arthritis reduces one’s quality of life and, to date, there are not great treatment options available. The best that science has had to offer up to this point is a metal and plastic replacement that leaves about 20% of recipients unhappy.
There is no cure for osteoarthritis. All we can do is reduce symptoms. This changed when we understood the power of stem cells and their ability to heal cartilage. Now, scientists and surgeons believe there may actually be a way to stop the progression of arthritis and to possibly reverse the damage done to cartilage.
Arthritis Relief With Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are stem cells that are obtained from an adult. These may also be found in donated umbilical cord or amniotic tissue after a live and healthy birth. MSCs are never harvested from embryos. Please understand that.
Cryopreserved human umbilical cord products are safe and have a very long history of use in the treatment of human conditions. These are readily available and are anti-inflammatory, anti-scarring, pro-regenerative, and beneficial.
Injections of this substance demonstrate halting of progressive cartilage degeneration in animal and human studies. The animal studies showed increased thickness of the cartilage after amniotic membrane-umbilical cord (AMUC) injections (dissection studies) while the human studies utilized MRI. In both types of studies, pain and function have improved.
Bone marrow lesions on MRI are associated with the pain of arthritis. Traditionally, it has been thought that these never get better and only become worse. However, AMUC studies have shown improvement in these findings on MRI.
Safe and Efficient Treatment with AMUC Injections
In my opinion, AMUC injections done for the appropriate patient are an amazing option. Our current options of treatment for arthritis have serious side effects. Other treatment options can result in gastritis, bleeding ulcers, destruction of the gut biome, addiction, hypogonadism, hypothalamic pituitary axis syndromes, osteoporosis, damage to cartilage by steroid and Marcaine, surgeries with damage to the brain from anesthesia, revision surgeries, infections, continued instability, and death. These are just some of the side effects of our current methods to treat the symptoms of arthritis.
To date, AMUC injections are totally safe. To my knowledge there are no serious side effects as listed above. The worst-case scenario for a Wharton’s jelly MSC injection for arthritis is that it does not fully alleviate all pain and achieve all functional goals. This seems like the most reasonable treatment option to me.
For more information on mesenchymal stem cells and the alleviation of arthritis pain, contact us today at Warner Orthopedics & Wellness!
Meredith Warner, MD