For now, stem cells are used only in the treatment of joints, and they are not recommended for the treatment of soft tissues (tendons or muscles). Stem cell therapy is used:
- in treating the joint injuries of younger patients, reducing inflammation and accelerating the natural regeneration;
- stem cells help very effectively with initial arthrosis, where they are able to stop the inflammation and progression of arthrosis and establish appropriate conditions for limited regeneration;
- in advanced arthrosis, it may delay the need for surgical replacement of the decision for several years.
Mesenchymal stem cells in orthopaedics and particularly in the case of joints can greatly improve the patient's ability and condition. Cells can be isolated from the bone marrow or fat tissue. In addition to the long-term reduction in inflammation that these cells achieve by actively releasing growth factors (with other methods of biological treatment, only growth factors are delivered), stem cells can be differentiated into bone or cartilage tissue, and they also act by stimulating the surrounding tissue towards regeneration. Stem cells are usually injected once, which should be sufficient to relieve symptoms for few years, but they may be re-injected at a further deterioration. Stem cell removal takes place in local anaesthesia and, if necessary, in sedation. Stem cells are taken (aspirated) from the bone of the pelvic bone or tibia through the minimal invasive procedure, or from the fat tissue around the waist. Aspirate is centrifuged and injected sterile in the joint. The procedure is not painful, and it is done ambulatory as one-day procedure. After the application, rest is prescribed for a few days and the patient can begin with physical and sports activity after a few weeks.
Treatment is performed in the clinic MD Medicina in Ljubljana, in cooperation with Educell company.