KNEES

image osteo treatment main 02

Knees take a lot of load. Just by walking, each knee has our full body weight 50% of the time dispersed across a few square centimetres of cartilage. This could be why they are our most common injury to treat.

Knee cartilage cushions bone ends and if is damaged the bone ends grind on each other causing rough spots on the bone which further tear into the cartilage and create further damage to it. Cartilage has few blood vessels, so it is difficult for the body to repair itself.

Unlike surgery, PESC treatment for knees is non-invasive. It can decrease inflammation, slow damage due to osteoarthritis and repair damage that has already occurred from arthritis. Our treatment has delayed or prevented knee surgery for many of our patients.

PESC vs KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY

Osteoarthritis of the knee can be as a result of an injury such as a ligament tear, tendon damage or fracture. Because knees are weight-bearing, recovery time can be slow. Stem cell therapy is minimally invasive. It's a procedure that can decrease inflammation, slow and repair arthritis and at worst delay or at best prevent knee replacement surgery. Post-treatment, a brace is required to be worn and there may be some mild soreness in the joint for up to a week. Improvement for many starts at weeks 6-8. Patients report continued improvement expanding over 6 months.

Although natural deterioration of the knee continues, at five years, those knees that are injected with stem cells are in better shape than they were before the injections.

HIPS

Injections of Pure Expanded Stem Cells (PESC) into the hip joint can reduce pain, swelling and regenerate damaged hip cartilage.

While cartilage regrowth in hips is dependent upon the patient’s age, health and the level of deterioration, it can slow the progression of osteoarthritis and delay the need for a hip replacement for many years. With these exciting results, PESC therapy should be explored if considering joint replacement surgery, especially for those in their middle years.

Not all patients will be suitable for this therapy but we have successfully treated many clients, some of whom have presented when bone on bone.

Hip replacement vs PESC therapy

An artificial joint is not identical to a natural hip as it lacks supporting anatomical structures that hold the femur firmly into the hip bones of the pelvic girdle. Cartilage is removed during surgery and ligaments may become stretched. Artificial joints are also more prone to dislocation during certain movements like crossing the legs or bending more than 90 degrees at the hip.

Latest figures from the New Zealand Joint Registry showed there were nearly 9500 initial hip replacement procedures in 2017 and 1200 revision hip replacements. The number of initial hip replacements increases every year by 10%.

Today around 85% of hip replacements last on average 20 years. Many patients who come to us in their 50’s and 60’s are concerned at the possibility of requiring a second replacement when they are 70-80 years old.

PESC therapy works to reduce inflammation and flood the area with healing healthy cells, which in time can help with the regrowth of cartilage. Patients walk out of the clinic after treatment and can engage in light exercise and rehab soon after. Many of our patients return to sports or simple day to day activities that were too painful to engage in prior to treatment.

image osteo hip 06

SHOULDERS

image home 09

 Injections of Pure Expanded Stem Cells (PESC) into the shoulder joint can reduce swelling, inflammation and pain whilst promoting rejuvenation and regrowth of damaged cartilage.

Shoulder Osteoarthritis or Glenohumeral Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of the cartilage, tendons and other structures of the glenohumeral joint which is where the head of the humerus fits into the glenoid depression in the scapula. 

The glenoid depression is much shallower when compared to other joints which allow the shoulder a great range of motion but this requires more soft tissue (tendons, muscle, cartilage) to hold the humerus in place. Cartilage protects the joints by absorbing the pressure and shock created when you move and put stress on them. Osteoarthritis causes this cartilage coating the head of the humerus and glenoid to deteriorate and allows bone-on-bone grinding which causes pain and stiffness.

Acromioclavicular Joint Osteoarthritis

The other joint in the shoulder that can experience osteoarthritis is the Acromioclavicular (AC) joint. This joint is where the clavicle (collar bone) meets the acromion (the highest part of the scapula). The AC joint is involved in raising the arm over the head or across the body. 

Shoulder reconstruction or PESC

When presenting with OA of the shoulder, most patients are advised to go for the surgery.  The side effects can include a long recovery time, blood vessel damage and pain. PESC therapy is a non-invasive, non-surgical alternative in which the area of injury is flooded with cells, growth factors, and platelets. Recovery is shorter and with the specialised physio programme, strength is regained within 3-4 weeks.

ANKLES

Nearly 90% of people suffering ankle arthritis have either previous joint trauma or an underlying medical condition such as osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis of the ankle is a degenerative joint disease which involves damaged cartilage in the joint or abnormal bony growth on the joint. As the cartilage deteriorates, the bones lose their protective coating and rub together causing pain, stiffness and inflammation.

The osteoarthritic process is gradual with many people initially dismissing symptoms, attributing them to the results of aging or an old injury "acting up." Left untreated, however, symptoms can gradually worsen and start to interfere with everyday activities.

Symptoms include pain and stiffness in the ankle joint, swelling in or near the ankle and difficulty walking or bending the ankle joint.

Current treatments include anti-inflammatory drugs, customised orthotic shoes and bracing to stop further deformity, physio to strengthen muscle and increase stability and in severe cases, surgery.

PESC VS SURGERY

Surgical treatment options for foot and ankle arthritis include ankle arthroscopy to clean up damaged cartilage, the fusion of ankle bones where cartilage has been lost, and tendon grafts screwed in place to strengthen loose connections between bones. 

These surgeries can involve a painful recovery and a lengthy rehab process to restore strength and mobility. Biomechanics are permanently altered leaving some patients with knee, hip and back pain as a result of unattended strain. The body requires millimeter precision to main proper function and often surgeries are not able to restore alignment to such a precise level. 

At ReGen we use your own high dose expanded stem cells, grown in our lab over several weeks and reinjected under ultrasound into the specific joint structure.

These cells then work in the site of your injury to grow into new, healthy tissue, a process that will only occur if the cells have been placed exactly where they need to go in order to achieve positive outcomes for the patient. 

Depending on the severity of the condition, not every patient is suitable for this treatment.

image home 06

ELBOWS

image pesc 04

Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a term for severe elbow tendonitis. It has nothing to do with tennis! Many patients with tennis elbow are builders, office workers, golfers and landscapers.

It’s usually caused by a partial tear in the tendon fibers, which connect muscle to the bone. Symptoms include gradually worsening elbow pain which spreads to the forearm and to the back of the hand.

PESC VS SURGERY 

Conservative treatments are anti-inflammatory medications, physio, massage, cortisone injections and even acupuncture. After these measures, some patients have lingering pain and are faced with surgery which may mean a debridement or the removal of the tissue unable to be saved.

In 2018, Australian surgeons made headlines when they published their study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine comparing tennis elbow surgery to placebo surgery.

For those who do not want existing tissue removed PESC may be a non-surgical option to heal and even regenerate the existing cartilage.

PESC FOR TENNIS ELBOW 

A study in the Journal of natural science, biology, and medicine found that a mixture of plasma rich in growth factors and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) injection was an effective treatment for tennis elbow. 

In this study, the treatment of tennis elbow patients with single injection of MSCs and PRP as is used at ReGen, showed a significant improvement in short to medium term follow-up. This should be considered as alternative conservative treatment for those who have failed non-operative treatment before surgical intervention is taken.