Stem Cell Therapy
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have the capability to differentiate into a variety of tissue types, including various musculoskeletal tissues. Potential uses of MSCs for orthopedic applications include treatment of damaged bone, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and intervertebral discs. Background Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multi-potent cells (also called stromal multipotent cells) that possess the ability to differentiate into various tissues including organs, bone, tendon, articular cartilage, ligaments, muscle, and fat. MSCs are associated with the blood vessels within bone marrow, synovium, fat, and muscle, where they can be mobilized for endogenous repair as occurs with healing of bone fractures. Bone-marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) is considered to be the most accessible source and, thus, the most common place to isolate MSCs for treatment of musculoskeletal disease. Harvesting MSCs from bone marrow requires an additional procedure that can be performed as an isolated procedure or in conjunction with, and an augment to surgery.
Tissues such as muscle, cartilage, tendon, ligaments, and vertebral discs show limited capacity for endogenous repair. Mesenchymal stem cells offer potential in stimulating a healing response with injury to these structures. Outcome studies up to this point demonstrate safety of this technique , but statistically significant outcomes vary depending on indication of application. This techniques appears to offer great promise in the biologic approach to enhance healing in orthopedic surgery and in the isolated treatment of osteoarthritis. As each patient’s situation differs discuss your candidacy as well as the pro’s and con’s of this treatment for your orthopedic condition.