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I have osteoarthritis in both knees. I heard that stem cell injections are a substitute for knee replacement. I am interested in hearing from people who have had this treatment. Does it work? Is the cost covered by Medicare and Anthem supplement?
Hi @yellowbuffalo and welcome to Connect. That must be so frustrating having osteoarthritis in both knees.
I wanted to share this journal article I found on stem cell injections in the knee for those with osteoarthritis: https://journals.lww.com/transplantjournal/Fulltext/2013/06270/Treatment_of_Knee_Osteoarthritis_With_Autologous.17.aspx
I also wanted to share this discussion on stem cell therapy for arthritic knees: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/stem-cell-therapy-for-arthritic-knees/
Also, this discussion on after knee replacement may be helpful, so you can see the struggles, and successes others have had after surgery: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/after-knee-replacement-surgery/?pg=1#chv4-comment-stream-header
I's like to introduce you to fellow Connect members @cobweb, @johnbishop, and @danielad as they all either have had stem cells, or have researched them and may be able to share their knowledge.
Back to you @yellowbuffalo, is your doctor suggesting a knee replacement at this time?
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Hello. My Dr. is suggesting complete replacement of both knee joints. I'm almost 81 and the prospect of prolonged therapy and disability is too much to consider at my age. Ergo, the stem cell therapy may be the ticket.
Hi @yellowbuffalo, I would like to add my welcome to Connect along with @ethanmcconkey and other members. I tried to get into a clinical study for stem cell therapy for knee osteoarthritis but I was too old at 75 to meet the requirements for the study. I'm now 8 weeks post of a total knee replacement of my right knee. I would have loved to try the stem cell therapy but it is not covered by Medicare and I'm pretty sure my supplemental plan didn't cover it either. The did cover the knee replacement though. I've heard cost ranges of around $7,000 but I'm not really sure. If I had it done, I would want a major medical facility like the Mayo Clinic to do it. It looks like Anthem doesn't cover it either if you read their positional statement on in the coverage.
Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for the Treatment of Joint and Ligament Disorders, Autoimmune, Inflammatory and Degenerative Diseases
Good luck with whatever you decide!
@yellowbuf falo I can tell you one thing I know about older people and surgery I have been a O.R nurse in my past life haha and it's the young children and older seniors that recover the best and quickest That's why @johnbishop is doing so well
I live in a suburb outside of Chicago and a couple of doctors are having seminars regarding stem cell therapy. One doctor insists that Medicare and insurances cover the treatments but we all know to date that that is not true. I have the problem in my right hip and my orthopedic surgeon suggested that I just tolerate the pain ! I had open heart surgery last year and the rheumatologist the surgeon wanted me to see added severe fibromyalgia to the Golden Years aches and pains :). The doctor suggested medical cannabis for the pain and I have found that regular CBD Oil over the counter helps much with the pain. Like you I am waiting for stem cell to be covered by insurance. But, one must understand that there is no guarantee that stem cell will work for everyone.
I have tolerated the pain from the hip for almost seven years and over the last few years I have tried steroid injections, but I don't think I will have anymore of them. One of my friends has bone on bone on both of her knees and she has tried the steroid injections and the last two times has tried the gel injections in both of the knees. The gel injections seems to help her more than the steroid. We must remember that we all heal and have different levels of pain. Every doctor suggests exercise but when one is in pain that is almost impossible. Whatever "road" you choose I hope you find relief.
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