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Stem Cell Treatment : A Beacon of Hope
Restricted mobility and hindrance in performing the activities of daily living could point towards osteoarthritis. Like Mr. Rawat, thousands of people face difficulty in performing activities of daily living as they suffer from bone diseases like osteoarthritis, spinal injuries etc. In fact, according to the WHO, osteoarthritis is among 10 most debilitating diseases in developed countries.
Bones, as we know, are the framework of the body, their health being crucial for performing the activities of daily living. Osteoarthritis is characterized by deterioration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint with bony overgrowth. The collapse of these tissues eventually leads to pain and joint stiffness. It is the most common form of arthritis.
Dr. R.S.Vashishta, Empanelled doctor at Advancells (http://advancells.com/
Stem cells are those distinctive, unspecialized cells which have the ability to transform into diverse cells performing innumerable functions of the human body. This incredible property of adult stem cells to treat orthopaedic problems – particularly osteoarthritis and spinal cord injuries has tremendous potential to be utilized as a treatment modality without having to opt for drugs and surgery.
Treatment involves collection of bone marrow from the patient’s iliac crest (hip bone) by mini-puncturing with a thin-needle, after using local anaesthesia, processing of stem cells and the final implantation into the patient by direct injection into the affected joints with the application of local anaesthesia. Using adult stem cells mixed with hyaluronan, a natural polymer which is the building block of joint cartilage, osteoarthritis can be treated.
On the other hand a sudden blow or trauma to the spinal cord could be devastating too, causing injuries to the extent of fractures, dislocation of vertebrae, or even blockage of nerve parts relaying messages between the brain and parts of body.
Stem cell therapy for spinal cord injury treatment is focused on improving patient’s quality of life apart from repairing the damaged tissues and restoring the function of the spinal cord.
Bone marrow is usually collected from the hip bone of a patient using a mini needle and local anaesthesia. Stem cells collected from the bone marrow are processed in a well-equipped, government approved laboratory. The quality and quantity of the extracted stem cells are measured and assessed in the lab. After surgery, stem cells are injected through lumbar puncture, by a catheter into the patient’s spine. Results specify that about 60% of the patients suffering from spinal cord injury showed noticeable improvement once they were treated with stem cells.
With stem cell therapy showing promise to become the mainstream treatment for numerous diseases including orthopaedic diseases, it would be of immense consequence to explore more into the miracles stem cells have to offer.