If you suffer from hip pain, you are not alone. As people are living longer and staying more active, arthritis of the hip is a common condition. It is estimated that 28 million Americans are currently living with osteoarthritis. As weight-bearing joints, hips are one of the most common joints to develop osteoarthritis, or “wear and tear” arthritis. Stem cell therapy is one of the newest and most potentially versatile treatments to address all kinds of injuries and conditions. It may even be possible someday to regrow entire organs. With this potential, it’s nice to know that there are currently safe and effective stem cell therapy treatments for some patients suffering from hip pain.
What is stem cell therapy?
Stem cell therapy is a type of regenerative medicine, named because it relies on the power of your own body to heal itself. There are many mysteries associated with healing, growth, and development of the human body. We know that stem cells are involved in these processes and we are learning more about how they work all the time.
A stem cell has the potential to become specialized into one of any number of other cells and replicate itself limitlessly. There are different types of stem cells, including embryonic, which are involved in the initial development and growth of the body, and adult stem cells present in bone marrow and abdominal fat (adipose tissue). Some types of adult stem cells can only make a few differentiations, while others share the quality with embryonic stem cells of being pluripotent, meaning they can differentiate into many different types of cells.
How can stem cell therapy help hip pain?
When there is osteoarthritis in the hip, the smooth cartilage covering the ends of the bone have worn away. The more the cartilage degrades, the hip is no longer able to provide smooth, pain-free movement. One solution to serious, advanced arthritis of the hip is hip replacement with a prosthetic joint. Before arthritis progresses to the point where more conservative treatments no longer help, there is the option of stem cell therapy to relieve hip pain.
Adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are found in great concentrations in adipose tissue or abdominal fat. In a simple procedure using a local anesthetic, stem cells are harvested from this tissue and isolated into a serum. This serum is injected into the hip right where the source of pain is. The stem cells give the healing process of the joint, including cartilage, a “jump start” to the body’s own healing and restoring process. In this way, cells that normally are not replaced in adults get a boost from MSCs.
For patients located in the Little Rock area, Dr. William F. Hefley, Jr. offers expert diagnosis and treatment of all kinds of joint pain. If you have hip pain or any orthopedic concern, call Dr. Hefley to find out what your options are. If you have questions about stem cell therapy or PRP therapy for pain, we can help. For an appointment at our convenient Little Rock or North Little Rock location, call (800) 336-2412.