stem-cell-knee-cartilage-repair

Knee Cartilage Regeneration | Stem Cells for Cartilage Repair, Part 1

Scott Brandt, M.D. Knee Replacement Alternative, PRP, Stem Cell Therapy, Stem Cells for Joint & Soft Tissue Pain, Stem Cells for Knee

Knee pain from osteoarthritis remains a major cause of disability and missed worked days.  Conservative treatment is typically aimed at relieving pain and begins with anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy and opioid pain medications. Injection therapy with corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid will often be used as the next line of treatment for knee cartilage repair.  Surgical treatments such as arthroscopy, subchondral bone drilling and microfracture are often the next steps in the treatment cascade.

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Unfortunately, many of these patients continue to progress and eventually undergo knee joint replacement surgery. Stem cell therapy for knees is a minimally invasive procedure that has the potential to decrease inflammation, halt the progression of the arthritic damage, repair joint cartilage, and delay or avoid knee replacement surgery.

Articular Knee Cartilage Damage

Articular cartilage damage, especially when it affects the knee joint, remains a major clinical problem due to the poor intrinsic ability for this tissue to repair itself. The major function of joint cartilage is to allow for smooth gliding of joint surfaces and protect the surrounding bone from stress. This is key for being able to continue doing sports such as skiing. Articular cartilage allows the knee to absorb shock and loads up to 20 times the body weight.

The Impact of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative disorder that ultimately leads to a gradual deterioration of knee joint cartilage.  Osteoarthritis may also be the result of a prior injury to the knee joint such as a fracture, tendon damage and ligament tears.

This may lead to joint instability which can cause wear and tear to the articular cartilage. Arthritis can affect not only the cartilage but may lead to damage of the bone beneath the cartilage, the synovial lining to the joint, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.

x-ray arthritic knee stem cell injection

Intra-articular placement of stem cells into right the knee joint with spread into both the medial and lateral joint spaces (x-ray guided stem cell knee injection).

Types of Stem Cells for Degenerative Knee Cartilage

Injection of progenitor cells, especially mesenchymal stem cells, has been shown to be a better strategy to repair degenerative cartilage than implantation of differentiated cells such as articular cartilage. Adult stem cells have a reliable potential to differentiate into cartilage, bone, fat or soft tissue.

They also display the ability to home to areas of inflammation and degeneration, and to modify immune system activity that can favorably influence the surrounding cartilage in areas of damage.

Encouragingly, results of pre-clinical and clinical trials have provided initial evidence of efficacy and safety in the therapeutic use of mesenchymal stem cell therapies for the treatment of knee cartilage damage and osteoarthritis. Cell-based therapy has become a key focus of tissue engineering research focused on functional replacement of cartilage and meniscus regeneration. 

knee replacement patient testimonial

Patient from Iowa uses stem cell therapy to help relieve knee pain from running. – Patient Testimonial

Individual patient results may vary. Please contact us today to find out if stem cell therapy may be able to help you.

A year long animal study has provided research that demonstrates that stem cell treatments provide structural regeneration with mechanical properties comparable with the native cartilage.

Stem Cell Extraction Methods

Adult stem cells can be extracted by minimally invasive methods from fat tissue and bone marrow.

  • Bone marrow stem cells have a good potential for differentiation and the concentrated cells have numerous growth factors that aid in the cartilage formation process. Cell numbers in bone marrow unfortunately dramatically decrease as we age and are often ineffective in older patients.
  • Fat derived stem cells show an enhanced ability to differentiate into cartilage and are found in dramatically higher numbers than seen in bone marrow. Not only are they typically 500-2000 times more abundant but they don’t decrease as we age. Fat derived cells have been shown to be successfully employed to target cartilage defects and improve osteoarthritis in patient studies. Fat derived adult stem cells have also demonstrated improved outcomes over bone marrow for cartilage repair.

Not all research is favorable to stem cell therapy at this time due to a wide variation in techniques and cell choice from discrepancies in treatment methods. Due to the many ways stem cell therapy is performed, we see that some variations are not as potent as others.

Supplement with PRP or Concentrated Placental Growth Factors

A minimally invasive procedure to harvest stem cells from both fat and bone marrow and inject the concentrated cells under image guidance can be performed in 2-3 hours. This procedure when supplemented with additional growth factors from platelet rich plasma or concentrated placental growth factors combines the best properties from each source.

Potential Treatment Results

Clinical outcomes from ongoing and previous studies are very encouraging, demonstrating the ability to improve pain and generate knee cartilage repair.  Many patients have been able to avoid knee surgery as a result of  advanced stem cell therapies – learn more about the results of a stem cell patient from Denver. Further studies will help to define specific cell and growth factor combinations to maximize cartilage regeneration.

There have been numerous professional athletes that have benefited in recent years from advanced regenerative therapies for orthopedic pain. A well known athletic superstar, Rafael Nadal, has undergone fat derived stem cell procedures on two occasions. After a successful procedure for his ailing knee, Nadal returned to highly competitive tennis, logging several more major wins.

*Individual patient results may vary. Contact us today to find out if stem cell therapy may be able to help you.

knee cartilage patient testimonial

Patient from Iowa uses stem cell therapy to help relieve knee arthritis and Achilles tendon pain. – Patient Testimonial

Individual patient results may vary. Please contact us today to find out if stem cell therapy may be able to help you.

stem cells for disc cartilage regeneration

Disc Cartilage Regeneration | Stem Cells for Cartilage Repair, Part 2

For more of Dr. Brandt’s insight on stem cells for cartilage repair, as applied in treatment of severe low back pain, check out the part 2 of this series: stem cells for disc cartilage regeneration.

Knee Pain Gone in Two Weeks

Stem Cell Therapy for Knee Pain

“I was having terrible knee pain all the time and it was difficult to just walk and use the stairs. I was referred to Dr. Brandt and Thrive MD by a friend. I had my consultation and found out that I would be a great candidate for stem cell therapy. I had my procedure on Nov 22, 2017 and within two weeks my pain which on a scale of 1-10, was 7-8 all the time went to 0-1. I’m now 3 months post procedure and I have 0 knee pain. I would highly recommend Dr. Brandt and his team. Very, Very Satisfied.“*

Posted on Google reviews

Kevin H, Google, March 2018

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If you believe you or someone you care about could be a candidate for stem cell therapy administered by a trusted clinic, please contact us today.

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Linda Gerrans
Linda Gerrans
19:37 14 Dec 17
When I was told by an orthopedic doctor I needed double knee replacement I chose stem cell therapy instead. Stem cell therapy has helped me get through my days without the pain I was experiencing and enjoy the activities I was unable to because of the pain.
John Beeman
John Beeman
23:05 08 Jan 17
I just wanted to give an update regarding the stem cell procedure performed by Dr. Brandt at Thrive about 3 years ago. My range of motion continues to improve--remarkable at 64.I skied 150k in 5 days last week and never iced my knee once. I can't remember skiing that many feet w/out having to ice in the last 20 years. The knee treated has been without an acl since I was 18 and is pretty severely arthritic,but I am getting better performance now than I have in recent memory. Thank you, Dr. Brandt!!
Lisa Harris
Lisa Harris
15:59 02 Jan 17
After struggling with an Achilles injury for 1 1/2 years and trying everything to heal it - steroid, physical therapy, wearing a boot, no activity, stretching, etc - I decided to have stem cell therapy at Thrive.md. It was a short procedure and an afternoon of post op recovery, which after 6-8 weeks, resulted in a full recovery from my injury. This seemed to finally stimulate blood flow and healing to an injury I had resigned myself to having forever. I highly recommend this procedure for tendon injuries like this one.
Zvezdomir Zamfirov
Zvezdomir Zamfirov
03:55 14 Nov 16
I am a pain management physician myself. I am 52, and physically very active. I still play soccer competitively. Six months ago I suffered a hip injury with a labrum tear. Due to the pre-existing wear and tear, the only conventional treatment, which was offered to me was total hip replacement. I wanted to remain physically active and continue to play sports, so I decided that this is not the best option for me. I choose instead to try stem-cell therapy. Ten days ago I had my procedure done by Dr. Brandt, and since then I have nothing but positive things to say about him and his practice. Everyone in his office was extremely welcoming and put me at ease and comfort about my procedure. The procedure went very smooth. And I did not have ANY post procedure pain or discomfort. I had no need for any pain medication. I was back to work seeing patients on the 2nd day after the procedure. My hip already feels noticeably better. I have the second procedure scheduled in four weeks, and I am confident that in another 3-4 weeks I'll be back playing soccer again. Thank you, Dr. Brandt and team for taking such excellent care of me.
John Reilly
John Reilly
13:44 04 Nov 16
I saw Dr Brandt on 8/8/16 for a lower back stem cell injection. From the injection, I got a serious infection in my lower spine. As a result, I spent 2 days in the Vail hospital and have been on daily IV antibiotics for the past 8 weeks. A few weeks after the injection, I started feeling increased pain which was a different pain than before my injection. It was much sharper and a shooting pain. I communicated this information to Dr Brandt and his staff. There only response and treatment was stronger pain meds. oral and injected steroids (the worst thing to do when an infection is present). The pain became so intense and debilitating, I finally made an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. Their team quickly discovered from listening to my symptoms and reviewing a new MRI that I had an infection. I also discovered from a search on DORA that over the past 13 years Dr Brandt's has a history of incidents with the DORA which regulates medical professionals. Over this time, his license was suspended for a period of time and is he currently practicing on probation through 2019. At one point, the AG said he was unfit to practice medicine.
Laurel Wilkerson
Laurel Wilkerson
21:22 08 Aug 16
Great job by the Thrive MD team in Edwards. With a torn achilles tendon, I was really opposed to surgery. When I discovered Dr. Brandt and team, I was thrilled. They are most professional and explained every step of the process and procedure for treatment options. I am on the road to recovery, and I am so thankful to have discovered Thrive. Before you let an orthopedic doc operate, take the time to explore and discuss stem cell therapy. Thrive MD made the process easy and convenient. Thanks! One year later update - ankle is doing great. Skied 52 days in 2015-16. Hiking, biking and all are no problem. Great team of caring people who know their business.
Brad Jones
Brad Jones
00:27 19 Feb 16
Dr. Brandt and his entire staff are amazing! Early in the ski season I had a partial tear in my ACL and thought I would be out until the next year for sure. However after consulting with Thrive MD they informed me that I was a good candidate for stem cell therapy. I went through the procedure and went from barely being able to walk with crutches to walking comfortably and normally within three weeks! I was back at work quickly and just got back on the mountain recently. My knee feels very solid and I have ZERO issues with it. Thank you Thrive MD for saving my ski season!
Karen Taylor
Karen Taylor
02:10 09 Dec 15
I am so happy to have found Thrive this past summer. After being told by 3 Dr's that I need a knee replacement I was feeling very discouraged. 2 1/2 years ago I had a very bad skiing accident and destroyed my tibial plateau. After surgery and physical therapy I was no where near where I wanted to be functioning physically. I couldn't hike, ski, or basically do anything active without constant pain. I went to Thrive and got my hormones balanced, got my energy level back up to where I like it to be and had several stem cell treatments on my knee. It was not an instant fix, but over the past 6 months it has continually started to feel better. I just skied 3 hard days in a row in Beaver Creek, with no swelling and very little pain! I am back to functioning at about 80% of my capacity. I'm thrilled with the progress and hope to continue to improve as I continue to be active this winter. I am so happy not to have a knee replacement and to be able to keep my own knee. Thank you Dr. Brandt.
Sylvia Baldwin
Sylvia Baldwin
00:00 26 Apr 15
Dr. Brandt is the best! I've been seeing him altogether for around 15 years now for corticosteroid injections for pain and would never want to see anyone else. He is very skilled with the needle and getting the injections done in exactly the right places. In addition, I've found Dr. Brandt to be a very concerned and caring individual; he's a great listener who clearly gives a lot of thought to what the best approach is going to be in dealing with the situation the patient describes. I've found that he always takes as much time as necessary to assess the situation; dealing with Dr. Brandt is such an entirely different experience than virtually every other meeting I've had with various surgeons and other M.D.'s. His staff is also very friendly, helpful and kind--as I said, he's the best...and well worth the drive to Edwards!
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