Is Orthopedic Stem Cell Treatment suitable for me?
Orthopedic Stem Cell Treatment is creating hype all across the globe. They have shown a hope of light in those fields of medicine where no definitive solution was offered. Like others, the application of stem cells in the field of Orthopaedics is increasing. Conditions like degenerative arthritis, avascular necrosis and sports injuries are already being treated successfully. The efficacy and safety of this procedure has led to a newly coined term Orthobiologics, which can be defined as the treatment of various musculoskeletal problems using biological means.
What are stem cells?
They are those cells which have an ability to transform into other type of cells. They are present in adults bone marrow and peri-vascular tissue of fat. They differ from the embryonic stem cells in a way that they have limited transformation potential. In other words they are multipotent unlike embryonic cells which are pluripotent.
What conditions are being treated by stem cells and how?
In Orthopaedics, degenerative diseases of joint, sports injuries, various tendinopathies and avascular necrosis of bone are treated by stem cells. However the treatment depends upon the stage of the disease, quality of stem cells, expertise of the surgeon and overall health of the patient. As these cells are multipotent; which means they can transform to a limited type of cells. This limitation still caters chondrocytes (cartilage cells), fibroblasts (fibrous tissue) and myocytes (muscle cells). Stem cells transform themselves to the above mentioned cells and this is also dependent upon the local concentration of growth factors in addition to the factors described above.
Please elaborate mentioned growth factors as well the success of stem cells.
Growth factors are naturally occurring proteins that help the transformation of stem cells to other type of cells. Recombinant growth factor injections are very costly. However we use natural source of growth factors in the form of platelet rich plasma (PRP), which is basically the portion of your blood rich in platelets. Platelets than releases growth factors like platelet derived growth factors and vascular endothelial factors for stem cells differentiation.
How is Orthopedic Stem Cell Treatment for degenerative arthritis superior to already present treatment?
In arthritis, the cartilage layer starts to wear out. This exposes underlying bone. Inflammation soon settles in and results in pain, swelling limited movement. The traditional treatment is analgesics to control this pain which in turns affects stomach, kidneys and heart. In later stages mechanical deformity results and eventually joint replacement surgery is advised. Joint replacement surgery, even in expert hands and setup, has a finite life and is very expensive. In addition to that patient has to undergo a difficult and painful post operative rehabilitative procedure. Stem cells directly affect the worn out cartilage and results in thickness of this layer within a period of 3 to 6 months. Moreover it is safe, cost effective and harmless. It also saves the patient from fearful procedure of surgery and rehabilitation. It is a day case procedure and patient can go home on the same day of the procedure.
Are there any precautions or contraindications before this procedure?
Patients who are taking blood thinners have to consult their cardiologist first and have to stop this medication for at least 5 to 7 day prior to the treatment. Any local pathology like dermatitis or skin infection is a contraindication for this procedure.
How are they harvested from the body?
Stem cells can be harvested under local anaesthesia. It is a painless procedure. The cells are than processed mechanically or enzymatically. They are than mixed with PRP and injected to the affected site.
What is the cost of Orthopedic Stem Cell Treatment?
The procedure is very cost effective and almost one fourth of the price of joint replacement surgery.
What conditions have so far been treated by you and how are the results?
I have done this procedure in the patients of knee arthritis, avascular necrosis of hip and meniscal injuries of knee. Results are excellent.
– Copyrights (c) Dr. Farooq Azam Khan
In lieu of above a brief orthopedic stem cell treatment session was carried out with Dr. Farooq Azam Khan, who is practicing Orthobiolgics for more than a year now in Lahore.
Dr Khan is a consultant Orthopaedics Surgeon. He is a fellow of College of Physician and Surgeon Pakistan. He has recently become a PhD scholar with area of research in stem cells. Dr Khan is also working as a clinical research partner for Interdisciplinary research centre in biomedical materials (IRCBM), COMSATS.
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