What is Osteoarthritis, and how is it treated?
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. And there is no cure for Osteoarthritis with conventional Osteoarthritis treatment methods. The characteristic feature of Osteoarthritis is a loss of tissue at the end of the bones. The protective tissues wear out gradually and get worse over time, causing inflammation of the joints. Osteoarthritis is also one of the most common diseases of the joints. We, at Medica Stem Cells, use the principles of Regenerative medicine to improve the condition. With Regenerative Osteoarthritis Treatment, we prevent degeneration of the protective tissues and promote regrowth of some of the protective tissue or hyaline cartilage. Hyaline cartilage is soft cartilage that covers the joint surfaces. Regenerative treatment thus helps to either delay or avoid joint replacement surgery. It also helps to manage symptoms without relying much on painkillers which in the long run can harm your health.
Am I at risk of developing Osteoarthritis?
Various risk factors increase your chance of developing Osteoarthritis. The risk factors include:
With age degeneration of hyaline cartilage of our joints is very common. Mainly of the main weight-bearing joints such as knees, hips and ankle. Osteoarthritis of knees and hips is very common.
Osteoarthritis is generally prevalent in older adults, especially those who are over 60 years.
Obese people or people who are overweight are at higher risk of developing Osteoarthritis of the knee, hip, and spine. However, the risk of developing Osteoarthritis decreases if one maintains a healthy weight.
Few people have an inherited defect in one of the genes responsible for making cartilage. These cause defective cartilage, which leads to more rapid deterioration of hyaline cartilage at the joints. People with congenital joint abnormalities are more likely to develop Osteoarthritis.
Arthroscopies or other surgical procedures accelerate the onset of Osteoarthritis.
Injuries cause Osteoarthritis. For example, athletes who have knee-related injuries are at higher risk of developing Osteoarthritis of the knee. People with severe back injury are at risk of developing Osteoarthritis of the spine. Also people who have had a broken bone near a joint are prone to develop Osteoarthritis in that joint.
Overuse of certain joints increases the risk of developing Osteoarthritis. For example, people who repeatedly bend their knees are at increased risk for developing Osteoarthritis of the knee.
Other condition such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and Haemophilia:
People with Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is the second most common type of arthritis, are more likely to develop Osteoarthritis.
Arthritis is also a widespread complication of haemophilia. It develops mainly because of frequent or inadequately treated bleeding into joints. Therefore proper care of joint bleeds prevents arthritis.
Also, certain rare conditions, such as iron overload or excess growth hormone, increase the risk of developing Osteoarthritis.
What is hyaline cartilage?
Hyaline cartilage or glass-like cartilage is translucent cartilage that is present on the joint surface. The hyaline cartilage is usually grey in colour and is rich in collagen with a firm texture. Articular cartilage or Hyaline cartilage present on the articular surfaces of bones – the surfaces at joints. Articular cartilage functions as a shock absorber and reduces friction between bones where they meet at joints. As a person ages, this cartilage can wear away. The wearing out of cartilage causes joint pain and swelling.
What are the conventional Osteoarthritis treatment methods?
As mentioned before there is no cure for Osteoarthritis. Palliative treatment aims mainly to manage the symptoms but not addressing the cause.
Conventional osteoarthritis treatment includes:
- weight loss,
- cortisone injections,
- supplements such as Glucosamine, Chondroitin or SAMe
- supportive and assistive devices such as knee or ankle braces,
- arthroscopy with a washout or
- as the last resort joint replacement surgery.
Many people opt for home remedies for treatment of knee osteoarthritis. Hot or cold compresses along with curcumin or turmeric rich diet, helps to manage symptoms. Sometimes, a diet rich in omega-three is also thought to manage the symptoms. The results of home remedies vary, but no research or study is showing the efficacy of home remedies for the treatment of Osteoarthritis of the knee or treatment of hip osteoarthritis.
Regenerative treatment is very efficient but often overlooked as a treatment option for Osteoarthritis. It works remarkably well for injured and damaged tissues. However, there are a few instances where Regenerative Treatment is not possible.
We, at Medica Stem Cells, focus mainly on the principles of Regenerative Treatment. Regenerative treatment involves harvesting stem cells from the recipient to kick-start the healing cascade and decrease recovery time. The therapy not just manages symptoms but also promotes growth and repair of the damaged hyaline cartilage.
How Regenerative Treatment helps in treating Osteoarthritis?
Regenerative treatment is a highly effective and natural treatment for Osteoarthritis. Usually, patients rely on painkillers to manage pain, but painkillers do not treat the cause of pain. Whereas, Regenerative Therapy mainly focuses on natural treatment of Osteoarthritis. For Regenerative Treatment, we use biological materials, extracted from the patient’s body.
Several studies suggest that Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP and Stem Cell therapy work wonders for treating damaged ligaments and tendons. PRP and Stem Cell therapy not only manages the symptoms of Osteoarthritis but also helps to promote healing of the damaged connective tissues.
What are the options of Regenerative therapy for Osteoarthritis treatment?
Regenerative Treatments are same-day procedures, and the options are:
In a few cases, more than one therapy is the treatment protocol. For some patients, a series of injections are administered during the treatment sessions. The method of treatment is solely at the discretion of the consultant.
What are the benefits of Regenerative Treatment?
There are so many treatment options available which provide temporary giving relief for painful Osteoarthritis. It is evident for you to think about why you should opt for Regenerative Treatment. Regenerative treatments are not just non-surgical procedures, but also are minimally invasive, same-day procedures with no risk of rejection. Furthermore, the recovery time is a lot shorter compared to surgery. You are fully awake during the treatment. And you can travel home within a few hours after administration of the injections in the affected area.
- Minimal-invasive procedure
- Same day procedure
- Joints become mobile within a few days after the Regenerative Treatment
- No ugly post-operative scars
- No need for prolonged joint rehabilitation
What results can be achieved with Regenerative therapy for Osteoarthritis?
The potential results are very individual and will vary from one patient to another. Expected outcomes from Regenerative treatment for Osteoarthritis include:
- Pain and stiffness reduction
- Improved flexibility
- Improved mobility
- Muscular strengthening
- Reduced inflammation levels
- Reduced medication needs
What to expect after the Regenerative Treatment for Osteoarthritis?
Regenerative therapy is an orthobiological treatment. It usually requires some time after the procedure to initiate repair. The results of the treatment are not instantaneous. It requires around thirty days, often for the patient to experience any signs of improvement. Overtime patients will experience reduced pain or increased function of the affected joint or sometimes both.
Some patients complain of mild discomfort at the site of treatment after the procedure, which can persist for a day or two. Usually, rest helps to relieve this pain. Simple painkillers are suggested if pain persists.
The Regenerative treatment has a strong anti-inflammatory effect due to the release of cytokines and growth factor. The anti-inflammatory effect usually lasts for around two to three months, thus reducing inflammation of the affected area. Gradual improvement begins as the hyaline tissues start to heal in the affected areas.
It is best to wait for 3-4 months for the effects of the treatment to become apparent. You will have review sessions up to six months post-treatment. Follow up sessions provides an opportunity for the patient to explain their improvement and compare to the medical records before Regenerative Treatment.
Regenerative treatment usually has excellent results. However, the outcome of the treatment varies for every patient. The results mainly depend on factors like age, type and severity of the condition etc.