Stem Cell Therapy for Arthritis Overview
Millions of Americans suffer from ongoing joint pain caused by osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common chronic joint condition and occurs when the articular cartilage lining the ends of each bone begins to break down from normal wear and tear or overuse. Articular cartilage is a smooth, white substance that allows the bones in each joint to glide smoothly and pain-free against each other. As cartilage degenerates, bones begin to rub against each other and cause patients to experience joint pain, swelling and inflammation. Chicago, Westchester, Oak Brook and Hinsdale, Illinois elbow specialist and shoulder surgeon, Dr. Nikhil Verma offers stem cell therapy to patients suffering from various forms of arthritis. Stem cell therapy for arthritis is gaining popularity in the medical field and utilizes a patient’s own adult stem cells to promote a reduction in symptoms in the damaged joint.
What is a Stem Cell?
Stem cells are defined as basic human cells that have the potential to create new cells and provide a modulation in inflammation in areas of damaged tissue. They also offer a natural healing ability within the joints of the human body. Commonly found in a patient’s own bone marrow, autologous stem cells, otherwise known as adult stem cells, have a natural healing ability to regenerate cartilage in arthritic joints.
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What is the Price of Stem Cell Therapy?
In patients who have exhausted all conservative treatment options for arthritis, Dr. Verma may recommend stem cell therapy to promote healing and symptom reduction of the injured soft tissue or bone. Stem cell therapy with Dr. Verma is $2,500. Since stem cell injections are still considered experimental, insurance does not cover the procedure. All procedures require cash payment.
What to Know About Stem Cell Therapy for Arthritis
Dr. Verma begins stem cell therapy for arthritis by extracting a sample of the patient’s bone marrow, generally from the hip region. The bone marrow sample is then spun in a special machine known as a centrifuge to separate the white blood cells, platelets and adult stem cells from the red blood cells. The three healing agents are then combined and injected directly into the patient’s damaged joint to promote regeneration of articular cartilage.
Stem cell therapy for arthritis uses a patient’s own “pluripotent” adult stem cells in place of the controversial embryonic or fetal stem cells. A patient’s own stem cells can replicate the healing benefits of embryonic stem cells without ethical concerns. Stem cell therapy provides a non-invasive treatment option for patients suffering from various forms of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, in an attempt to modulate the symptoms of early or moderate osteoarthritis and potentially prolong the need of joint replacement surgery.
Have a question about biologic treatment? Dr. Verma answers frequently asked questions.
To learn more about stem cells and how they are utilized in stem cell therapy for arthritis, please contact Dr. Nikhil Verma, elbow specialist and shoulder surgeon in the Chicago, Westchester, Oak Brook and Hinsdale, Illinois communities.
Biologic Therapies FAQ
- How do Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) stem cells and FlōGraft® (amniotic fluid-derived allograft) accelerate the healing process?
- Are Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) stem cells and FlōGraft® all considered regenerative therapies?
- What is FlōGraft®?
- Are all Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) stem cell therapies the same?
- Is there an age limit for Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) regenerative therapy?
- Why is Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) sometimes called a stem cell “like” therapy?
- Why doesn’t my insurance cover this treatment?