Joint Pain and Arthritis

Joint Pain and Arthritis

Pain and stiffness due to arthritis has long been considered something that normally comes with age.  But new research indicates that the disease has affected younger people too at an increasing rate. The Arthritis Foundation reported that among those aged 18 to 64, nearly one in three have doctor-diagnosed arthritis and/or report joint symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of arthritis in both men and women.[i]

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the bones in the joints begins to break down. This is often a result of life-long wear and tear, but overuse from repetitive motions and activities may lead to earlier development of this painful condition.

Are You at Risk for Developing Osteoarthritis?

The odds of developing osteoarthritis increase with age and repetitive use, but there are several other factors that can increase a person’s risk for joint degeneration including:

  •       Genetics: Some people inherit a tendency to develop osteoarthritis.
  •       Gender: Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis than men for ill-defined reasons.
  •       Obesity: Extra pounds put stress on weight-bearing joints, such as your hips and knees.
  •       Previous Injury: Joints injured by an accident or surgery, are more prone to developing osteoarthritis.
  •       Other medical conditions: Systemic diseases such as diabetes and hemochromatosis (a condition that causes the body to retain too much iron) are at higher risk too.

Addressing the Pain Without Surgery

The field of regenerative medicine has made great strides in the development of non-surgical treatments for patients suffering with painful joints due to osteoarthritis. These treatments use a patient’s own cells and tissues to stimulate the body’s ability to repair damaged joints and encourage the growth of new tissue, such as cartilage, bone and tendon. 

These minimally-invasive treatments are performed using advanced image guidance to deliver cellular therapy to the affected areas with high precision.  They are performed in the medical clinic allowing patients to return home within an hour or two of their treatment.  

Such innovative therapies include:

  •       Prolotherapy which stimulates the body’s natural healing mechanisms to produce new tissue by employing a sugar based solution called dextrose. 
  •       Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy that selectively concentrates platelets and growth factors in the blood to create a customized healing treatment.  
  •       Bone Marrow Aspiration Concentrate (BMAC) which uses stem cells, platelets and other substances in the patient’s bone marrow that improve circulation, decrease excessive inflammation and regenerate healthy tissue.
  •       Lipogems that enables cells within the adipose (fat) tissue to work together as a functional unit and repairs, reconstructs and replaces damaged tissues.
  •       Master Protease Inhibitor (Alpha 2 Macroglobulin or A2M) which uses a substance found in a patient’s own blood to stop the progression of joint degeneration and decrease inflammation.

Which Treatment is Right for Me?

Arthritis sufferers who are considering regenerative treatments should consult with a qualified physician who has the training and skills to perform these procedures safely and effectively. These physicians are board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R), sports medicine or orthopedics and have advanced training in regenerative medicine. They can help you determine which treatment is most appropriate based on your goals and specific medical condition.

Another important factor to consider is the source of the regenerative products. Practices that use autologous cells and tissue from a patient’s own body are permitted by the FDA when used in accordance with their guidelines.  Clinics that use donor birth tissue products, such as umbilical cord blood, amniotic fluid or exosomes put their patients at risk for infection or immune reactions because these materials are foreign to a patient’s own body.  The FDA does not permit the use of such products because they have not been proven to be safe or effective.

Those who once considered joint replacement surgery as their only option to manage the pain of osteoarthritis should carefully review these new regenerative treatment options. They can offer years of pain relief that can delay or even avoid surgery. 

Drs. Christopher J. Rogers and Mary A. Ambach are recognized experts and leaders in the field of regenerative medicine. They have published in the scientific literature and have trained hundreds of physicians at medical conferences around the world. Because of their extensive knowledge of treating orthopedic conditions with regenerative procedures, San Diego Orthobiologics Medical Group is one of only six clinics in the United States selected to participate in an FDA-approved clinical trial to treat knee osteoarthritis with stem cells.


[i] Arthritis By the Numbers 




Patient Success Story | Knee Osteoarthritis Treated With Fat Derived Regenerative Cell and PRP Therapy By Dr. Ambach

Patient Success Story | Knee Osteoarthritis Treated With Fat Derived Regenerative Cell and PRP Therapy By Dr. Ambach

J.Z. is a woman in her late fifties with severe knee osteoarthritis and meniscus degeneration.  Dr. Ambach successfully performed the fat derived regenerative cell and  platelet rich plasma (PRP) to treat her symptoms.

My experience was amazing! Dr. Ambach explained everything as she performed the procedure. I would definitely recommend this.

Knee Osteoarthritis Success Story:


Patient Success Story | Knee Osteoarthritis Fat Derived Cell Therapy  with Dr. Ambach

Patient Success Story | Knee Osteoarthritis Fat Derived Cell Therapy with Dr. Ambach

Richard is a 72-year old male who suffered from severe knee osteoarthritis in both knees. He is a patient of Dr. Ambach and had a successful treatments with fat-derived cell therapy and PRP. We are thankful for his testimonial and that he is living more comfortably!

 I live on the beach and couldn’t walk very far on the beach without knees hurting. I had both stem cell and PRP treatments in both knees. I became pain free in 9 weeks!  Oh, I used to have a problem going up and downstairs. No more. As I healed my knees because stronger and more flexible. For example, lowering myself to the floor and getting back up. Much better now. I am very thankful this treatments option was available.

Knee Osteoarthritis Patient Success Story:


Regenerative Treatments for Knee Osteoarthritis

Regenerative Treatments for Knee Osteoarthritis

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.

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