Stem Cell Arthritis Treatment
Arthritis is a very common disease that affects millions of Americans. It affects the joints in the body and can affect the knees, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, and virtually any other joint. Unfortunately, arthritis is almost at epidemic proportions, with an estimated 1 in 5 Americans having doctor-diagnosed arthritis in 2013. By 2030, the number of American adults with arthritis is expected to grow to 67 million, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
One treatment option for arthritis that is becoming more popular with patients is the injection of stem cells into the joints affected by arthritis, in order to repair the damaged tissues and possibly even grow new tissue and cartilage. Currently, Dr. Jao offers the following arthritis stem cell treatments:
- Knee Arthritis
- Hands and Wrists
If you would like to explore the possibility of using stem cells to treat your arthritis, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Jao in our Brea, CA office, by calling (714) 930-1351, or fill out the Contact Form to schedule online.
What is Arthritis?
When discussing stem cell therapy for arthritis, we first have to look at what arthritis is. Though this broad term is used to describe damage to the joints and the associated pain and discomfort, arthritis comes in many forms and includes rheumatoid arthritis, post traumatic arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and osteoarthritis, among others.
It’s important to distinguish between these different types of arthritis before undergoing stem cell therapy, because they cause damage to the joints differently.
For example, rheumatoid arthritis damages the cartilage, bone and surrounding tissues through chronic inflammation. In this case, your body’s own immune system attacks the joints and brings about tissue degeneration that eventually leads to pain and weakness in the joint.
With osteoarthritis, on the other hand, the cartilage is worn down due to lifestyle factors; like excessive walking or running due to work, sports, or outdoor activities.
When creating your individualized stem cell arthritis treatment, Dr. Jao will take many factors into consideration, including the main causes of your arthritis and the type of damage you’ve experienced. This customized approach increases the probability of a successful outcome and a decrease in pain.
How Arthritis Stem Cell Treatment Works
The idea behind using stem cells for arthritis is quite simple. Stem cells are very special in that they have the potential to divide and become almost any other type of cell in the body. When injected into a specific area, stem cells may be able to replicate based on the surrounding tissues.
For example, if you are dealing with knee arthritis and the stem cells are injected into the knee, they may rebuild the cartilage or the meniscus structures in the area. If injected near the ligaments, the stem cells may repair damage to these connective tissues.
Of course, using stem cells for arthritis treatment is still a relatively new option. However, many of Dr. Jao’s patients who have undergone stem cell arthritis treatments have reported significant increases in comfort and decreases in pain.
What types of Stem Cells are used in Arthritis treatment?
To help patients treat arthritis, Dr. Jao harvests stem cells directly from the patient’s platelets or fatty tissues. There are two benefits to this practice:
- Firstly, by treating arthritis with the patient’s own stem cells, the chances of tissue rejection are virtually nonexistent. This increases chances of success and reduces potential side effects.
- Secondly, any moral dilemmas associated with using stem cells for treatment are fully eliminated. This way, the patient can completely focus on healing.
How soon will I feel results?
The results of your stem cell arthritis treatment will depend on your unique biology and how much damage has already occurred in your joints. Typically, patients experience an improvement 2-3 weeks after treatment, after the stem cells have had time to divide and grow.
However, some patients may need additional treatments, especially if significant damage has already occurred in the joints. If additional treatments are needed, they will be performed approximately one month apart. Most patients need 1-3 treatments.
Take the Next Step
If you’d like to learn more about arthritis treatments with stem cells, take the next step and schedule a consultation with Dr. Jao. Please call our office at (714) 930-1351, or fill out the Contact Form below to schedule your appointment.