Would you accept stem cells if it meant no more knee surgery? 278



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Many over 60s struggle with the day to day pain of knee issues, but amazing new developments in stem cell research have shown promise in one day getting rid of joint surgery altogether.

World-first Melbourne trials have successfully regrown damaged knee cartilage, paving the way for other trials on different joints in the body.

As arthritis sufferers well know, once that cartilage is gone, it’s a slow and painful road. But now doctors are hoping this stem cell discovery will make many joint replacements and other surgery unnecessary.

Doctors have halted damage caused by degenerative conditions, and even reversed it, in one of the first studies to use stem cells to rebuild cartilage in humans, reports the Courier-Mail.

The incredible results show half of those treated at Melbourne Stem Cell Centre saw a three-quarters reduction in pain and vastly improved knee function.

Two separate trials involving 70 patients have now shown huge results.

Chief clinical investigator Dr Julien Freitag said “The ability to see that the arthritis is not progressing is exciting — but to see reversal and regrowth in cartilage in some patients is incredibly exciting”.

“There are many avenues, not just within musculoskeletal, where stem cell therapy may revolutionise medicine. This is not just promise — we are actually seeing the reality of stem cell therapy now, which is exciting.”

The studies, done in partnership with Magellan Stem Cells and overseen by Monash and La Trobe universities, are the first Australian trials that have used a patient’s own stem cells and injected them into their own knee joints.

In one study, 30 osteoarthritis patients were given ­either stem cell treatment or a placebo, to see whether the cells stop damage or even rebuilt the knee. A second study of 40 patients with cartilage issues tried to determine whether stem cells could stop normal joint deterioration and arthritis.

Results out this week show two-thirds of the patients within both studies have experienced at least a halving of knee pain and movement restriction.

“Some patients have regrown a component of cartilage volume. In a progressive condition, to see a reversal is very exciting”, said Dr Freitag.

“We are also broadly seeing a minimal or lack of progression of their osteoarthritis”.

How amazing!

We want to know today: Would you try this if it meant you could regrown your own cartilage? How would it improve your life?


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Had stem cells from my hip put into my knee, and the cartilage grew back!

    16 REPLY
    • Where did you have it done? It sounds amazing, do you know if it can be used for back issues? Very interested for my son.
      I am so glad you have relief, how long ago was your procedure??

    • Margaret Donohue , I had my first knock knee straightened in November in HSS in NY. My surgeon is S Robert Rozbruch. He scrapped out the OA in my knee, then put the stem cells. Having right leg done in April. It is relatively a new procedure . Maybe your doctor knows about it?

    • Debra J Foote That is amazing and wonderful outcome for you Debra, why have we not heard of this? they should be shouting from the roof tops, thank you for telling us your story it will bring hope to many people.

    • Sandra Wilson , I had my fingers crossed the whole time! It is a relatively new procedure. I don’t think many doctors know about it. I went to Hospital for Special Surgery in NY.

    • They are doing trials in NSWs and they have been advertising on Facebook keep and eye out for it as its a 3 day visit to Sydney and then your specialist takes over I suppose I am so interested my back ad both knees are crap and I would give this a go in a heart beat if I had the money x

      1 REPLY
      • I think I saw this about 6 months back, sprang up on the computer somewhere but the knee pain one disappeared. Was it something to do with Swinburne, cannot quiet remember

    • Jilly Regan , it was done as part of my leg straightening, and that is expensive! But I have no more OA pain.

    • Debra J Foote I wish you luck Debra, it sounds wonderful, I am in Australia and have only heard of people going overseas from here to get this type of help.

    • Hope it soon comes to NSWAustralia my knee needs it as soon as possible

      1 REPLY
      • I had stem cell treatment to regrow the cartilage in my knee about 6 years ago. Worked well for me.

        The doctor treats a lot of people with sports injuries , so is experienced with cartilage problems.

        Contact details if you are interested.
        Dr Peter Lewis. 1232 High St, Armadale. Vic. Tel . 03 95095922.
        Skype details …… surecell1

    • The doc we go to is at the Sunshine Coast..
      Google Totally Regen!!
      Hubby doing well had stem cell t’ment in January…
      Pat Peters Trask
      Margaret Donohue

    • Would most certainly opt for this fit was affordable

    • Where did you have this done. I’m really interested. My knee is at the stage of bone on bone, quite painful and climbing stairs is shocking, I use hand rails to keep my weight off the knee. Also my ankle I beginning to pain also. I would dearly love to have the stem cell treatment..

  2. I’ll wait and watch them experiment fully on football players first. But I do think stem cell research is still in it’s infancy with great things to come.

  3. I would use stem cell if it meant it would take my depression away without thinking about it so if my knees had gone yes or any other thing yes I would use it

  4. Yes fingers crossed for great results if it stops having to have knee replacement surgery it will b wonderful

  5. I think this may be a technology for the future. Anything that eliminates major surgery has to be an improvement.

  6. This is so amazing, I have resigned myself to a progressive deterioration as I have no cartilage in both knees. Knowing there is an alternative to surgery is exciting news.
    I do not know what stem cell treatment involves but it sounds less intrusive.
    The possibility of being able to go walking for exercise again is very exciting, or walking without the use of a cane which I need to use if I walk any further than 50 metres or more.
    Very exciting news indeed.

  7. Before I had two full knee replacements I had made arrangements to fly to Sydney for stem cell treatment on both my knees, however the cost involved was $10,000 per knee at the time and you could NOT claim it back. I was also told that they had no idea how long it would last, therefore as the money would have had to come from the little I had in my Super I decided the risk was to high at the time. I think it will be amazing in the not to distant future however unless your a self funded retiree most of us would find it out of reach unless the GOVERNMENT get on board with it so people can at least claim most of it back.

    7 REPLY
    • A friend had the treatment for his hip. It didn’t work for long and 2 or 3 yrs later he had the operation.

    • Debbie Boss Laliberte, I contacted Medicare and they said they would not consider it until such time it is a proven to last at least as long as knee replacement surgery and as it is a relatively new procedure I don’t think that’s likely to happen for some time.

    • I can’t see the government getting on board with anything that will help people hence the health reform just moves the people on waiting lists to another hospitals LONG WAITING LISTS clever move i think not

    • Once politicians need the surgery I’m sure Medicare coverage will magically happen.

  8. Wished i heard of this sooner just had knee replacement verey soor &swolen hard time flexing it not good starting to regreat getting it done .iwould love to have tried this if have to do other knee hope can try this .

    2 REPLY
    • Keep doing the rehab exercises and going to Physio, Lee. I regretted my hip replacement for the first six weeks, it was very hard but I made sure I walked as much as I could and a year later I’m very glad I had the operation. My brother had a knee replacement a couple of months ago and is feeling like you are, but it gets a bit better each day. Exercise is the key, hope it improves for you.

    • Hang in there Lee,I am at the 8 week mark and doing great so they say, lots of muscle stiffness still but not much pain,my proudest bit is riding the push bike again and walking downhill with no pain.everyday gets a bit better.

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