Stem cell Interventions for Joint Arthritis
• Among the chronic Joint pains, hip and knee osteoarthritis (OA) is the most prevalent and is a leading cause of pain and disability in most countries worldwide.
• The prevalence of arthritis increases with age and is associated with heavy occupational activities.
• 242 million people worldwide have symptomatic and activity-limiting arthritis of knee.
• Knee Osteoarthritis affects sleep, mood, and quality of life. Pain- both chronic pain and episodic- can result in depression and other mood disturbances, functional disabilities, and work limitations.
• OA significantly limits a person’s ability to self-manage other chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension.
• Osteoarthritis knee also, increases the risk of developing heart disease by 50%.
Traditional nonsurgical Osteoarthritis therapies have limited utility and the the treatment effect on disease is very low. Most of the therapies are aimed at controlling the symptoms but have minimal or no effect on disease progression or repair. On the other hand, surgeries such as Total knee replacement and partial knee replacement is unwarranted until the disease progresses to moderate or end-stage.
Stem cell therapy by the Interventional Pain specialist has shown some promising results and has shown disease modification to prevent knee joint destruction. Stem cell therapy for knee arthritis has shown reduction of pain and stiffness, improvement in physical function, maintains cartilage quality with minimal side effects. Cost of the procedure and affordability is a matter of concern and may not be suitable for the masses.
Exercises to strengthen the muscles, regular walks to maintain the flexibility, weight reduction to off load the knee joint and exercises to improve the general physical fitness. These interventions not only will reduce the symptoms but also helps in slowing the process of degeneration.
Stage 1: Minor. Pain on increased physical activities is the main symptom. Modification of the lifestyle, usually controls the symptoms and may even disease progression.
Stage 2 is Mild Osteoarthritis and Stage 3 is moderate arthritis: Disease modifying interventions by Interventional Pain specialist, can only prevent further progression at these stages. The earlier we intervene, the better are the results. Stem cell therapy is best at these stages.
Stage 4: Severe. At this stage, either Knee joint replacement or in patients who are not willing for knee replacement surgery or not medically fit for surgery, pain reduction can be achieved with cooled RF ablation technology.
Walking is a fantastic option for many patients with knee arthritis because it is a low-impact activity that does not put undue stress on the joints. Furthermore, walking can increase the knee’s range of motion and keep it from becoming overly stiff.
You may need to avoid activities that put too much strain on the joints, such as running and sports that involve jumping, quick turns, or sudden stops.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition and can not be detected with blood tests. Some blood tests are required to rule out other types of arthritis.
Stem cell therapy has shown some promising results and has shown disease modification to prevent knee joint destruction. Stem cell therapy for knee arthritis has shown reduction of pain and stiffness, improvement in physical function, maintains cartilage quality with minimal side effects.
Stem cell is used in the early stages only to prevent the disease progression but if the osteoarthritis is already in advanced stages, knee replacement is a better option. When knee replacement is not possible, pain specialist may advise you for Cooled RFA of knee joints to reduce the pain.
Not painful at all. The pain specialist do these procedures under local anaesthesia and under Ultrasound or Fluoroscopy Guidance.
With the current advanced technology, only one single stem cell injection is required.
Some patients report feeling better in as little as a couple of days. Stem cells takes some time to act and repair the damaged cartilage and may have full effect in 4-6 weeks time. During this period, your pain specialist will prescribe some medications to control your pain.
Do I need to take rest after the stem cell procedure? Just one to two days of restricted physical activity is sufficient. From 3rd day, you may start your routine activities. Avoid jogging, running, strengthening exercises for at-least 7-10 days. Be cautious to avoid overloading (excess force on the affected joint), shearing (pivoting and twisting), or compression on the joint that was injected.