Effects of Stem Cell Injections on Osteoarthritis

Author: Anna Parr

What is osteoarthritis?

Arthritis is caused by the deterioration of cartilage between joints of the body and has limited capabilities for self-regeneration. According to Lu, it has been shown that around 9.6% of men and 18% of women over the age of 60 have symptoms of osteoarthritis (Lu, 2019). Kumar states that chronic low back pain due to disc degeneration is one of the leading causes of disability and causes a huge social and economic impact on patients. Additionally, approximately 80% of adults have experienced low back pain at some point in their life, with percentages increasing with age (Kumar, 2017). When looking at the article by Freitag, currently, the chosen treatment for knee osteoarthritis is a total knee replacement which can result in significant complications. Additionally, 20% of patients having undergone a total knee replacement have reported persistent pain or loss of function 12 months after the procedure (Freitag, 2019). Lastly, Davatchi states that the available treatments for knee osteoarthritis are more symptomatic  than preventative. Some treatments may slow down the progress of cartilage degeneration, but none reverse it leading to more and more cartilage loss and eventually a joint replacement (Davatchi, 2016). This got health care professionals thinking that there has to be a better, less invasive way to treat osteoarthritis.

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