National and International clinical studies show autologous mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) treatment is healthy and effective for reducing pain and increasing mobility in patients who suffer from musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative cartilage disease mostly found in people 41 and older. It is the wearing down of the protective cartilage tissue at the end of bones in the joints. It occurs gradually and worsens over time. The most common symptom is joint pain in the hands, shoulders, neck, lower back, knees or hips.
There is no known cure for osteoarthritis. Medications, physical therapy and sometimes surgery can help reduce pain and maintain joint movement.
Medications may include pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs.
In addition, cortisone injections in the joints are used to treat osteoarthritis pain; however, this medication can worsen joint damage over time. Injections of hyaluronic acid can also be used to lubricate the knee joints; however, researchers are uncertain of its effectiveness. Lastly joint surgery may be necessary to repair or replace the joint.
Autologous MSC treatment is a flourishing new treatment that research demonstrates to be effective in reversing the deteriorating cartilage in patients with osteoarthritis and helps relieve joint pain.
Autologous stem cells can be retrieved from either bone marrow or adipose (fat) tissue in the patient. It is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia.
Studies show the anti-inflammatory activity of the stem cells relieve pain symptoms of osteoarthritis without the risk of cartilage degeneration that can occur with other treatments such as cortisone shots. In addition, it improves the function of the joints with no severe adverse affects.
Researchers from the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health collected published literature of clinical studies using autologous MSC treatment for adult orthopedic patients.
Articles published in English from January 2010 to October 2015 on the clinical effectiveness of autologous MSC therapy were taken from university databases, PubMed, medical databases, International health technology agencies and the Internet.
A total of 7 articles covering 844 autologous MSC procedures including but not limited to adipose derived stem cells and bone marrow aspirate alone or in combination were used in studies.
The research suggested that autologous MSC treatment significantly improved functionality, pain and quality of life in patients up to 24 months. Only four patients out of the 844 reported having adverse reactions of pain and swelling.
Since this research there have been several more studies and hundreds of studies currently underway. Clinical findings show stem cell therapy is a treatment that helps repair or regenerate cartilage tissue in the joint areas and reduce pain.