Stem cell injection as pain management

I have suffered for years with osteoarthritis but it finally defeated me last spring. I was informed that I needed a new hip. In view of the long wait for surgery where I live (Canada) I began looking into alternatives that might at least give me some relief while waiting. Anti-inflammatory drugs made me feel quite ill and I did not like the increased speed of degeneration associated with cortisone injections. I contacted several doctors in the USA and Panama who offered 'miraculous' stem cell therapies but did not like either the cost or the extravagant claims each made. Finally, I discovered a pain management clinic in a small town in Alberta that offered stem cell therapy using stem cells harvested from one's own bone marrow. Though my own GP was reluctant to refer me, I eventually found a more open minded GP, and underwent the procedure just over three months ago. Within two weeks of receiving the injection, I was again able to walk without a cane, sleep without so much pain and put my own socks on without so much drama. While I was there, I took advantage of the harvested stem cell material to have my knee injected. The improvement there has been nearly 80% while my hip has improved about 40%. I do not think this is in any way miraculous nor do I think it a substitute for the hip surgery that I will eventually need but at least I can get by without pain medication and can do many of the things that will help me get fit enough for surgery. I still have trouble with weight bearing and must be careful with any chores that require lifting but I feel so much better overall that I feel confident in advising others to consider the benefits of a stem cell therapy as a pain management alternative while waiting for surgery. I believe that stem cell injections, if properly done, may also provide relief to those with multiple joint problems who are not candidates for joint replacement surgery.

4 Replies

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  • I've never heard of this. To my knowledge its not offered in the UK. Let us know how things progress and whether the improvement is long lasting.

    Dee

  • Will do. The theory is that the stem cells will stimulate cell regeneration in both bone and soft tissue. Whatever is actually happening in my case, I felt better until a few days ago when, after spending several days doing too much, I seem to have suffered a bit of a relapse. I also now have a surgery date next month so will not be able to tell you much beyond then. For now, I trust the therapy only for interim pain relief.

    You should be able to find quite a bit on the subject if you Google "stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis of the hip". Of course, much of what you will see is not informative but you might also look at a website called <www.medpub.com> for some rather good peer reviewed articles. As far as I can tell, there has not yet been any comprehensive studies done that would allow for more confidence. Desperation drove me to it but I'm not sorry.

    Good luck.

  • Wow, so pleased for you...will ask my G.P. about this tomorrow...am sure the NHS won't offer it but will ask anyway as suffering at moment and all I have been offered is surgery...which have declined at moment but feeling so low with pain and no quality sleep might have to reconsider !

    Good luck with your upcoming surgery! xx

  • Hang in there! Just please keep in mind the limited research behind this therapy. I chose it because of a lengthy wait for a surgery date (up to 14 months).

    Cheers,

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