Stem Cell Therapy for Arthritic Knees
I am a 77 year old woman with arthritic knees where it’s difficult for me to walk and I’m trying to avoid knee replacement. I have done the Synvisc injections and physical therapy– to no avail. Is there anyone here who has had stem cell therapy for arthritic knees and I would like to know your outcome. I know there are two, one where bone marrow is removed and the other where they take fat from the abdomen and regenerate and inject into the knees. I would like to know the cost and how long the procedure takes and any other information which would be helpful to me. I live in North Jersey and am currently looking for clinics in my area who perform this procedure. I appreciate your help.
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Hello @tropicallady1276, and welcome to Connect.
I would like to invite @winning, @lynettegable, and @talan to this discussion to share their thoughts and experiences with stem cell treatments for knees.
@tropicallady1276, Has stem cell treatment been recommended to you as an option by your current medical provider?
No– my medical provider has not recommended stem cell therapy for my knees. I am looking into it on my own because I would rather not have knee replacement– if possible.
Most traditional orthopedists would not recommend stem cell at this point as it is not FDA approved and insurance will not cover it. However, my stem cell doc is a retired orthopedic surgeon with a wonderful reputation. For years he had felt there should be a better way than invasive surgeries to correct joint problems. He retired, studied for 4 years, then came back to part time practice just doing stem cell therapy on joints. I am almost 6 weeks out from mine. No joint pain at all, just some soreness and stiffness where my knee is still swollen—but not as swollen as it was before the procedure. I have had two PRP’s (one prior to the procedure and one just a week after) and will have another in a few more weeks. The PRP’s help the stem cells to heal the joint. My stem cells were taken from both bone marrow and from fat cells in my buttocks. I am delighted with the results so far. I would not go to one of the “advertising clinics” that do stem cells. I would not want a chiropractor or non orthopedist to do my procedure. Mine was also done in a sterile room which could be important. A lot to think about, for sure, but do careful and lengthy research before you commit.
No, I had such a terrible time with my knee replacement and was taking injections for the other knee. A friend told me of their success with stem cells. I knew I would be questionable for stem cells because I had little cartiledge remaining. So far it has worked. I had some soreness several weeks ago and they did a follow up blood injection after finding fluid on the knee.
I think the younger you are the better it is. Just my opinion.
I have had stem cells done on my back and very happy with the results. Also have had friends did hip and knees. I think people want options from doing a painful surgery and rehab. Knowing what I know now I would never do a total knee replacement except as a last resort. I do have friends who have had success with knee replacement. To each his own.
I got into stem cells from watching a webinar from the Mayo Clinic on the cure for arthritis. I would think it would work on your knees. Cost is a concern for many. Doing research on what doctors to use is important. Cost for me was $7,000, but I have heard some charge more and less. Good luck.
Thanks for getting back to me. It’s funny you mentioned not going to an “advertising clinic”– I am going next week. I do not plan having it done with them but I want to see what they have to say and see if I can learn anything. I’m trying to find a reputable doctor in North Jersey with good reviews and even see if I can speak with one of their patients. I’m going to check Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in New York. Thanks, again.
Did you have your procedure at the Mayo Clinic? I am so trying to avoid knee replacement but my knees are getting very bad and I can’t wait too long.
Thanks for the information. How many visits to Doctor did it take to complete the procedure?
Initial visit to go over MRI and then set the date. Took less than an hour to extract stem cells, the blood draw, sat around for 3 hours, then the injection of the stem cells and blood that were mixed. Injection took around Half hour, go home, sit at round for a few weeks, read,watch tv, and after 3-4 weeks back to walking etc. took 13 days when I notice I had no pain in walking. Did a lot of biking. One thing, no ibuprofen, aspirin, etc. they kill stem cells. Lipitor is a no no for a while. Good luck.
I used a dr who works with regenexx. Great web site, learned a lot from it. They are located around the country.