These cells can be applied to areas of lost cartilage in the knee and hip to form new cartilage and repair the joint, thereby relieving pain.
The problem in synovial joints such as the hip and knee is that it is difficult keeping these cells where they have to work. They are big joints and have fluid in them that can wash the cells away.
The intervertebral disc however is a contained packet as are the facet joints. They present the ideal containment vessel to put these cells in and get them working.
The problem has been delivering the millions of cells needed after harvesting them from the persons bone marrow or fat tissue.
Mr Natali and Mr Sivaraman have teamed up with colleagues in Los Angeles to facilitate stem cell therapy for back pain.
Stem Cells used in other units elsewhere
Many places offer stem cell therapy, but often the number of cells delivered is too low to do any good, or they rely on white cells and platelets which will not form the new protein you need.
It is a case of “caveat emptor”, or buyer beware.
Questions to Ask
- What are you taking for the stem cells (bone marrow or fat)?
- What cell numbers are you going to deliver?
- If fat – are you sure the cells delivered have had all of the fat removed? (Remnant fat cells may make matters worse).
- What are the results?
- How are you going to follow up my results?
- How do you know I am suitable for the procedure?
- Can there be a rejection of the cells?
- If the cells are from donors – can I be sure I am not going to catch any other diseases?
- What is the risk of these cells turning to cancer cells?
What do the team in the USA say to these questions?
- Fat or bone marrow – but at present we can harvest more cells from fat and clean them using some special procedures that ensure all of the fat cells are removed.
- All fat cells are removed using special brushes and chemicals
- So far we expect the majority of patients to reduce their pain and disability by 50%, but this is maintained.
- We need you to complete questionnaires that we keep on our registry. By doing this we know that initially patients often have a lot more pain for up to 2 weeks. We try to control this with pain killers and muscle relaxants, but it seems that it something we can’t avoid.
- If your MRI suggest that the wear and tear is too advanced, we shall suggest that you are not suitable.
- The cells cant be rejected – they are your own cells
- You wont catch any diseases that you don’t have already – they are your cells.
- Transformation of these cells is very unlikely – They are your cells and your body can control them as it does others.
This treatment is in an area that we can call experimental, it is exciting, it is not funded by the NHS or Private Health Insurance Companies, so it has to be self funded.
The cost of this treatment is of the order of
Initial consultation in the UK £350
Travel and 1 week stay in the USA – You choose
Stem cell harvest, preparation and injection $15,000 US
1st Follow up in the UK and administration of score tests £250
2nd Follow up in the UK and administration of score tests £250
As you will see, the whole cost is expensive and the question to be asked is whether it works.
The results to date suggest that it does work, but this is new science and by teaming up with the experts in the USA, we have been able to bring you the best that current science can offer.
If you are interested, please call 02079357211 to book a consultation appointment or email firstname.lastname@example.org