Salzburger Nachrichten: Stem Cells from Fat Can Help in Osteoarthritis

Studies and experience reports show that the joints hurt less after the treatment.

Vienna. Two out of three people over 65 are affected by osteoarthritis. Many younger people also suffer from joint problems, e.g., after sports injuries. Until now, medicine has only been able to treat symptoms such as pain and immobility. In order to restore the mobility of the damaged joints and to alleviate the pain, so far one had to rely on a drug treatment or an artificial joint replacement.

Recent studies and experiences now show that stem cells from body fat can alleviate pain and immobility and contribute to the regeneration of the damaged joints.

For example, a patient suffering from osteoarthritis of the thumb joint (carpometacarpal osteoarthritis) was successfully treated with stem cells from her own fat at the university hospital in Graz, Austria: The patient’s own fat stem cells were injected into the region of the thumb joint of one hand during the procedure. As a result the mobility improved and the patient could use the hand again. Due to the success achieved and the gentle treatment process the patient now wishes to have her other hand treated with stem cells too. “Stem cells from fat tissue have an anti-inflammatory and regenerative effect in the body. Regenerative medicine makes use of this healing mechanism of the body in the treatment of joint diseases with stem cells,” explains Karl-Georg Heinrich, a doctor from Vienna who is working in the field of regenerative and aesthetic medicine. The joint treatment with the body’s own stem cells from fat tissue is performed on an outpatient basis in local anesthesia. “The fat stem cells obviously stimulate the regeneration of the cartilage in the damaged joint and help to remedy the cause of the joint problems,” says Heinrich.

Published in Salzburger Nachrichten on January 18, 2017.

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