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August 18Adult Stem Cells for Osteoarthritis

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Osteoarthritis can occur in any of the body’s joints and affects millions of older adults throughout the world. Commonly referred to as “OA,” osteoarthritis is an inevitability for many people. It occurs when the cartilage that protects the end of human bones breaks down over time that eventually leads to a situation where bones rub against one another until little to no cartilage remains.

OA is an unpleasant condition with painful bone-on-bone contact yet hope is available. Scientists have recently pinpointed stem cells as a possible catalyst of OA healing. Emory Orthopedics and Spine Center physicians made waves five years ago when they launched regenerative stem cell therapy. This is a form of treatment for OA as well as related joint maladies. It makes use of the patient’s stems cells to repair damaged tissues, minimize pain, and speed up the healing process.

These stem cells are derived from abdominal fat and/or hip’s bone marrow. Both a rich source of adult stem cells the samples are acquired with a special collecting system and then spun at high speeds to generate a concentrate. This process isolates the stem cells. These cells are injected right back into the patient’s compromised joint minutes later catalyzing the healing process.

The use of stem cells takes about an hour and a half. The best part is it involves minimal comfort and produces few side effects for the vast majority of patients. Since the samples are taken from the patient themselves it decreases the odds of rejection. This method has been clinically and scientifically proven to help patients enjoy a substantial improvement in joint health in as little as one month.

Stem cell therapy debuted nearly a decade ago and has proven incredibly effective. The medical community is quickly determining stem cells enhance the healing process better than other treatments. Stem cells are the body’s master cells that can replicate and potentially differentiate into different cells types for a varying function within the body.

There are numerous different stem cell types, those that help promote ligament, tendon and cartilage healing are referred to as mesenchymal stem cells. The human body has a substantial amount of these cells available to repair damaged tissue. Though there is little evidence that adding concentration of such cells can replace joint cartilage that has been lost, they serve as important signaling cells that promote the transmission of proteins like cytokines. These are molecular harbingers that mitigate cartilage degeneration and control pain.

Although certain medical professionals consider stem cells to be an experimental treatment. It is an excellent alternative to total joint replacement surgery and pain relievers. The FDA is now attempting to determine how the number of stem cells therapies should be regulated.

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