Stem cell treatments have been hailed as a breakthrough therapy for many ailments, including for people suffering from musculoskeletal related conditions and chronic pain. Regenerative medicine therapies are certainly proving to be a safe and less invasive option than traditional surgeries and addictive medications.
One stem cell treatment that is attracting a lot of interest of late is stem cell therapy for the treatment of avascular necrosis.
What is Avascular Necrosis?
Avascular necrosis, or AVN, is where bone tissue dies because there is an interruption to the blood supply. Bone tissue cannot survive without oxygen, and oxygen is supplied by the blood through the body’s circulatory system. If the blood supply gets cut off, then the bone tissue will be starved of oxygen and will die.
How Does The Blood Supply Get Cut Off From Bone Tissue?
There are many ways in which the blood supply can get cut off from bone tissue, but the most common ways are following an injury or severe joint degeneration causing repetitive trauma to the bone surface. External factors such as excessive alcohol intake and the overuse of high-dose steroids can cause AVN as well.
What Are the Symptoms of AVN of the hip?
During the early stages of AVN, there are no symptoms. Eventually, a patient will begin to feel pain around the affected area during weight bearing activities such as standing, walking or running. As the disease progress, pain can be present with non-weight bearing activities such as laying or sitting.
The most common areas most prone to AVN are the hip (especially), the shoulder, knee, foot, and hand. AVN will not ‘go away by itself’, and indeed will worsen if it is left untreated.
What Are the Normal Treatments for AVN of the hip?
The first treatment for AVN is usually pain management. A patient is given medications to help deal with the pain. The only other usual alternative treatment is surgery and a total hip replacement.
How Are Stem Cell Treatments Used for Avascular Necrosis of the hip?
Stem cells are harvested from the patient’s bone marrow . Utilizing image guidance and minimally invasive techniques, the stem cells are injected into the head of the femur as well as the joint space around the hip. The stem cells naturally promote the healing of necrotic bone tissue and the joint.
If you would like to know more about stem cell treatments for avascular necrosis, or indeed any type of regenerative medicine, then please contact us here at the Michigan Center for Regenerative Medicine. We can be reached by phone at (248) 216-1008, or online using our web based contact form.