It sounds exciting and conjures up the holy grail cure for all bad things. There is a lot of misinformation out there about stem cell injections. Arthritis is NEVER cured with these injections. Yes, we do use them on small cartilage defects during surgery but that is completely different from saying we are going to cure your horribly arthritic knee. These type of injections can help healing of chronic tendon problems. There are very good studies showing healing of partial tendon tears (tennis elbow, chronic Patellar tendinitis ...)
"Stem" injections might help pain temporarily in arthritic knees but again it is not a cure for arthritis. I have used these injections previously on my knees and shoulder and we do them at Tulsa Bone and Joint. I have given multiple lectures on these types of injections since 2010. There is also lots of misinformation regarding what is truly a stem cell (bone marrow) versus growth factor injections (PRP,ACP, concentrated amniotic fluid) I also use bone marrow concentrate and PRP and ACP intra operatively for extremely limited indications But, We are extremely cautious on when to recommend them. Be careful if someone is pushing you hard to pay $$$$ thousands of dollars. The graphics on the marketing videos or lectures are dazzling. But please get your doctor to stick to the facts. They need to be honest about this still being an investigational treatment without FDA approval.
It has specific indications. Insurance companies do not yet pay for them because of lack of scientific studies. If a doctor pushes this on you, they should be comfortable if you record your conversation with them on your phone and ask tough questions about curing arthritis. we should all be cautious on how to even use the word STEM cell. and we need to be careful about false claims of curing degenerative arthritis.
The injections are SAFE. They may help arthritis pain temporarily but NEVER a cure. There is minimal oversight by FDA as of now. This is more market driven rather than science driven.
Please have an honest discussion with your doctor/surgeon before you hand over thousands of dollars. Make sure you ask tough questions Ask about your doctors background. I believe these biologic injections are here to stay and we will have more indications for orthopedic use as more research emerges But we strive at Tulsa Bone and Joint to have honest discussions with our patients based on scientific proof. I just worry about lack of oversight of some free standing clinics and mega marketing campaigns. Hopefully, The FDA is watching all of this closely.