Treatment of joints with stem cells
The use of cell therapy to treat joints is the most studied compared to the treatment of other diseases with stem cells. The therapy promotes thickening of cartilage tissue and elimination of pain syndrome. As a consequence, mobility is restored. This process occurs due to the ability of stem cells to regenerate - the injected cells are transformed into any tissue.
How do we choose the best treatment in Ukraine?
The indications for joint cell therapy are arthritis, arthrosis and injuries.
Stem cells are not prescribed to patients with acute phase of chronic and infectious diseases. Also, stem cell therapy is contraindicated for pregnant women and during lactation.
Due to the wear and tear of a joint or a joint affected by a disease, endoprosthetics are often necessary. Stem cell therapy can act as an alternative to such surgery. However, it should be understood that cell therapy is not a panacea and will not always help. For example, for arthritis, stem cell therapy is indicated in stages 1 to 3. The 4th stage of arthritis is an absolute indication for arthroplasty, and cell therapy at this stage will only serve as a postponement of joint replacement
Yes, as a rule before the injection of stem cells the patient is prescribed an anti-inflammatory therapy. Preliminary physical therapy procedures may also be helpful.
Stem cells can be harvested using several methods:
- Lipofilling. This method of cell harvesting involves therapy with autologous material. In other words, the patient's own stem cells are used. For this purpose, a puncture of adipose tissue is made. Usually, fat is taken from the abdomen or thighs with a syringe. A small amount of fat is enough for the procedure, from which the stem cells are later separated using a centrifuge.
- Peripheral blood sampling. To obtain stem cells from peripheral blood, apheresis is used. The patient is connected to a machine through which his blood passes. The machine filters the stem cells from the blood and collects them in a separate reservoir.
- Extraction of cells from the umbilical cord blood. If you or your close relatives (provided that they are compatible with your phenotype) have umbilical cord blood collected at birth stored in a cryobank, you can use it as a source of stem cells.
- Obtaining cells from bone marrow. To do this, under anesthesia, the doctor takes a syringe from the patient's (or donor's) femur or sternum.
- Obtaining cells from an aborted fetus. Using fetal cells from a fetus extracted at 4-6 weeks of gestation.
In the laboratory, cells are isolated from the collected material and multiplied in a special environment. This process is called cultivation.
Most often, injections are made into the joint cavity. Some methods involve injecting stem cells intrathecally - into the subcutaneous space of the spinal cord. Usually, 1-3 injections are needed to achieve the results of the therapy.
Treatment of joints with stem cells involves swelling in the joint area during the first few days. During this time, it is necessary to limit physical activity and walking. After the swelling passes, you can return to your normal rhythm of life.
One can speak with confidence about the effectiveness of stem cells in the treatment of fractures and other injuries. In this area, the therapy has proven to be the best. Treatment of arthrosis and arthritis cannot be evaluated unequivocally, since both arthrosis and arthritis are collective names for entire groups of diseases. These diseases have different origins and degrees of development. In addition, the overall condition of the patient - his or her physical health and age - also plays a major role. Therefore, where for one patient stem cell therapy of joint disease is a salvation, for another it will only postpone surgical intervention.