Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis affecting 32.5 million Americans. It is a chronic disease that slowly degenerates the protective cartilage in your joints. For some people, symptoms are minimal. While for others, it can be disabling. The joints in the knees, hips, hands and spine are typically involved, although any joint in the body can be affected. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis vary, but there are early signs to watch out for that can help prompt for an early medical evaluation and subsequent treatment.
Early Warning Signs of Osteoarthritis
Joint Pain: Pain typically worsens with activity or at the end of the day. Pain can be felt as a generalized ache in the joint or sharp sensation with certain motions.
Swelling: Fluid accumulation inside the joint or inflammation of soft tissue around the joint can cause swelling.
Joint Stiffness: Stiffness is typically felt early in the morning upon waking up or after a period of inactivity. The stiffness gets better after moving around and as the day progresses.
Loss of Flexibility: You may lose full range of motion and can find it difficult to move the joint because of pain, swelling or stiffness.
Abnormal Sensations: Popping, clicking or cracking sounds may be heard and grating sensations may be felt in the joint.
If you experience these symptoms regularly, seek consultation with your orthopedic doctor. A comprehensive medical evaluation and appropriate diagnostic testing by a board-certified physician is needed to accurately diagnose the cause of your joint pain. Read our blog and watch our webinaron the non-surgical treatment options and innovative therapiesfor osteoarthritis.
Dr. Christopher Rogers was honored to speak at the April 2021 La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary Club meeting. Topics of the lecture included a history of stem cell therapy in San Diego and an update on FDA-approved clinical trials for knee osteoarthritis. To see a copy of the lecture, visit the San Diego Orthobiologics Medical Group YouTube channel or view the video linked below!
Join our free webinar to learn about PRP, an innovative non-surgical treatment option for osteoarthritis and other orthopedic conditions.
Dr. Mary Ambach specializes in non-surgical orthopedics, regenerative therapies, and interventional pain management. As a key thought leader in the field of Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Ambach conducts research, trains physicians, and lectures at international medical conferences.
Dr. Christopher Rogers is one of the world’s leading experts in orthopedic regenerative medicine and a renowned speaker at national medical conferences. He has developed new approaches for the treatment of tendon injuries, osteoarthritis, and disc degeneration which provide a safe and viable alternative to surgery.
Osteoarthritis causes joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and can lead to a debilitating chronic condition. Standard treatments of physical therapy and anti-inflammatories are limited at times in controlling symptoms and improving function. The good news for patients with osteoarthritis is that there are regenerative treatment options, like stem cell therapy, to reduce pain and stimulate healing. These therapies offer a viable alternative to major surgery that requires prolonged rehabilitation. It provides hope for an improved quality of life without the risks associated with joint replacement surgery.
What is Regenerative Medicine?
Regenerative medicine is a new medical specialty that uses advancements in the study of cells and tissue engineering to understand how the body heals itself.
By using the unique healing qualities of your own cells, regenerative treatments can stimulate healing, reduce inflammation and decrease pain.Some of these therapies may even prevent the progression of joint arthritis.
Stem cell therapies using a patient’s own bone marrow or minimally manipulated adipose tissue have been shown to be safe and effective in treating osteoarthritis and other orthopedic conditions. These treatments are compliant with current FDA regulatory guidelines.
However, stem cell based products that contain umbilical cord blood, amniotic tissue cells or exosomes have unproven claims on their safety and efficacy. They require FDA approval of a Biologics License Application before they are allowed to be marketed to patients.
What Can You Expect from Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cell therapy is performed on an out-patient basis and do not require anesthesia.Unlike invasive joint replacement surgery, they do not demand a lengthy recovery time or extensive physical therapy following treatment. These minimally-invasive treatments are performed using advanced image guidance such as ultrasound or fluoroscopy (digital x-ray). The procedure typically takes less than a couple hours to complete and patients can return to their daily activities after their treatment. Light activities are typically recommended for a few days.
Studies show that stem cell therapy derived from bone marrow concentrate improved pain and function significantly better than exercise therapy or hyaluronic acid (gel) therapy in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Another study shows that stem cell therapy from fat and bone marrow tissues resulted in significant clinical improvements in patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.
Drs. Christopher J. Rogers and Mary A. Ambach of San Diego Orthobiologics Medical Group are experts and leaders in the field of regenerative medicine. They are the leading providers in San Diego who offer the most advanced regenerative treatments available for orthopedic conditions.
Patients who suffer with pain, stiffness or swelling caused by knee osteoarthritis are often concerned that they may ultimately need joint replacement surgery.The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) has reported that more than 600,000 knee replacements are performed each year in the United States.
Knee replacement is a major surgery and requires prolonged rehabilitation. The good news for patients with knee osteoarthritis is that advances in regenerative medicine are offering hope for an improved quality of life without the risks associated with surgery.Recent studies show that 98% percent of patients would like to learn more about these innovative treatment options.However fewer than 50% of surgeons ever discussed these non-surgical alternatives with their patients.
By using the unique healing qualities of your own cells, regenerative treatments can stimulate healing, reduce inflammation and decrease pain.Some of these therapies may even prevent the progression of knee arthritis.
San Diego Orthobiologics Medical Group offers a number of regenerative medicine options for patients with knee osteoarthritis.
Regenerative Options for Knee Osteoarthritis
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy selectively concentrates platelets, plasma and other substances found in the blood to create a customized healing treatment that specifically targets knee joint arthritis.
Plasma Rich Growth Factor (ENDORET PRGF®) creates a more rapid and natural healing response by using proteins in your blood to facilitate a balanced release of growth factors essential for healing.
Autologous Fat Tissue Products (Lipogems®) enables regenerative cells (such as stem cells) within your own fat tissue to work together and repair, reconstruct and replace damaged or injured tissues.
Bone Marrow Aspiration Concentrate (BMAC) utilizes regenerative cells that are contained within your own bone marrow. The marrow contains a rich reservoir of “pluripotent” stem cells to stimulate your body’s ability to improve circulation, decrease inflammation and regenerate tissues.
Master Protease Inhibitor (A2M) uses a natural substance found in your blood (Alpha 2 Macroglobulin) to stop the progression of joint degeneration and improve pain and inflammation in arthritic joints.
These minimally-invasive treatments are performed using advanced image guidance such as ultrasound or fluoroscopy (digital x-ray). They are performed on an out-patient basis and do not require anesthesia.Unlike surgery, they do not demand a lengthy recovery time or extensive physical therapy following treatment.
Patients who suffer with knee pain will benefit from a consult with a practitioner who is experienced in diagnosing and treating orthopedic conditions so they can review all their options before considering unnecessary joint replacement surgery.
Drs. Christopher J. Rogers and Mary A. Ambach have extensive experience in the treatment of orthopedic conditions and sports injuries. They are recognized experts and leaders in the field of regenerative medicine and were the first providers in the San Diego area to offer some of these advanced medical treatments.