Stem Cell Therapy for Bone on Bone Knee | Research Update

Revision Knee Surgery

Dr. Marc Darrow Stem Cell Therapy

In this article Marc Darrow, M.D., explains Stem Cell Therapy for Bone on Bone Knee

New research: Injection of bone marrow stem cells has provided a promising treatment strategy for osteoarthritis. Although a number of studies have demonstrated that injection of bone marrow stem cells produced desirable results, the mechanism underlying this effect has not been well explained. This is also a question many patients ask, “How do stem cells work?”

In a laboratory the researchers sought to provide this explanation. Here is what they came up with: Bone marrow stem cells increases cell proliferation of chondrocytes and inhibits inflammatory activity in osteoarthritis.

In common language – it regrew cartilage and stop damaging chronic inflammation. Stem Cells also worked as an anti-inflammatory because it healed the damage by regrowing cartilage. 1

These healing effects of stem cells are supported in numerous studies. In one study, doctors followed patients for five years after stem cell injections for knee osteoarthritis. They found at FIVE YEAR follow up stem cell treated knees were still better than before treatment.2 We call that the “Curative effect.” 

More interesting is a second study from doctors in China who announced that in their animal studies, stem cells injected into the site of a bone fracture, promoted  rapid and accelerated bone healing. 3

The implications of the above research has helped revolutionize the way standardized medicine addresses problems of bone degeneration and necrosis (bone death). When the doctor says you have “bone-on-bone,” the options of knee replacement or just live with it are no longer the two only options. The research above shows, cartilage can be regrown, bone can be regrown, chronic inflammation (swelling) shut off – long term – stem cells provide a curative effect.

Cartilage Regeneration is a Key to Stem Cells

Rebuilding cartilage in severe osteoarthritis is considered one of the great challenges in orthropedic medicine. Stem cells provided a solution.

The availability of large quantities of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and the multilineage differentiation (their morphing ability), especially their chondrogenic (for cartilage) differentiation property, have made MSCs the most promising cell source for cartilage regeneration.

MSCs can modulate the immune response of individuals and positively influence the microenvironment of the stem cells already present in the diseased tissue.4 The stem cells changed the environment.

Stem cells regrow cartilage and change the healing environment

Stem Cells send signals for bone to regrow and create a healing environment in the joint

Researchers are looking at the osteoblasts, specialized mesenchyme-derived (stem) cells accountable for bone synthesis, remodelling and healing. What they are finding is that these cells rebuild bones through various mechanisms including cell homing or cell signalling. This is where stem cells communicate with the surrounding tissue to help them navigate to the site of the wound and differentiate themselves into the material to build bone.5 Other research suggests positive results even in cases of Avascular necrosis. 6

Should you consider Stem Cell Therapy for your bone-on-bone? The Darrow Wellness Institute has long been recognized for utilizing advanced, non-surgical options for degenerative joint disease including Stem Cell Therapy. Stem Cell Therapy, like Prolotherapy and Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy are designed to stimulate the immune system to heal and rebuild damaged joints without the significant risks that surgeries, joint replacement, or other invasive procedures come with.

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1. Zhang Q, Chen Y, Wang Q, Fang C, Sun Y, Yuan T, Wang Y, Bao R, Zhao N.  Effect of bone marrow-derived stem cells on chondrocytes from patients with osteoarthritis. Mol Med Rep. 2016 Feb;13(2):1795-800. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2015.4720. Epub 2015 Dec 28.

2. Davatchi F, Sadeghi Abdollahi B, Mohyeddin M, Nikbin B. Mesenchymal stem cell therapy for knee osteoarthritis: 5 years follow-up of three patients. Int J Rheum Dis. 2015 May 20. doi: 10.1111/1756-185X.12670. [Epub ahead of print]

3. Huang S, Xu L, Zhang Y, Sun Y, Li G. Systemic and local administration of allogeneic bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells promotes fracture healing in rats. Cell Transplant. 2015 Feb 2. [Epub ahead of print]

4. Qi Y, Yan W. Mesenchymal stem cell sheet encapsulated cartilage debris provides great potential for cartilage defects repair in osteoarthritis. Med Hypotheses. 2012 Sep;79(3):420-1. Epub 2012 Jun 1.

5. Titorencu I, Pruna V, Jinga VV, Simionescu M. Osteoblast ontogeny and implications for bone pathology: an overview. Cell Tissue Res. 2014 Jan;355(1):23-33. doi: 10.1007/s00441-013-1750-3. Epub 2013 Nov 29.

6. Calori GM, Mazza E, Colombo M, Mazzola S, Mineo GV, Giannoudis PV. Treatment of AVN using the induction chamber technique and a biological-based approach: Indications and clinical results. Injury. 2013 Sep 19. pii: S0020-1383(13)00423-3. doi:  10.1016/j.injury.2013.09.014. [Epub ahead of print