Stem Cell Therapy

Jen Member Posts: 155
edited 29. Sep 2015, 07:39 in Living with Arthritis archive
My young niece has just had this done on one of her knees. She is only 24 years of age and has inherited arthritis from her grandmother. (my inlaws side) Ironically she is a qualified physiotherapist for a football team so I am thinking she had access to a specialist and had the procedure done quite quickly whereas general jo public wouldn't.

The other thing I thought, is why is this procedure not available for all those people who suffer with chronic arthritic pain everyday, is it that only young people have access to the procedure or perhaps it was her employer who paid for the treatment to be done privately. I don't really have the answers to that at this point.

Any way thought I would share in case any one wants to investigate this procedure themselves.

I've only been told 2nd hand about this, and from what I was told is that they drilled a very small hole into her good knee bone which leaks out stem cells that repair the arthritic bone. I have contacted my niece to ask her the name of the procedure she had done and will report back when / if she answers.

Not sure if someone has had this sort of procedure done already, I've not heard of many people with arthritis in the knee having this done on the NHS.

Its a procedure that avoids having a knee replacement op.

I have read a few articles about stem cells therapy but was wondering why it hasn't yet become more available to patients, perhaps its the expertise involved with the procedure, I am unsure.

I wonder if the helpline may know more about this procedure and what qualifies a patients suitability for such a procedure.

Arthritis Research info on it seems to indicate its not yet readily available to patients. their page here:

NHS article:

I found this also:

there is a mail on line article about someone who was able to avoid a knee replacement through stem cell therapy.

I will post again on this when I know or hear of anything from from my neice or other sources.

Wishing all a happy sunny sunday.

Best wishes Jen


  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 20,967
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Jen
    Has you know this is still in the early stages , we did have one lady on a few years ago that had it in her knee..but while she was posting there was no improvement then she stopped posting...but I do believe its not far off being the norm..thanks for the links..
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,023
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I agree with Barbara. We've had at least one person on here trying it (for OA, not an autoimmune arthritis) but I don't think it was a great success. I believe it's under several investigations and maybe sometime......

    'Sturge' has been to USA twice trying it but I don't think it helped. If you put his name into the search facility (the little blue button above, not the pink box) all his old threads will come up.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,598
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    I had a cartilage cell transplant years ago - think it was 2002 - but that didn't work for me. Had one op (arthroscopy) where cartilage cells were retrieved, these were sent to a laboratory where they were grown, I went back to theatre 4 wks later (another arthroscopy) and they laid the graft over the damaged area of my cartilage. Can't remember the name, but I think it's ACI for the initials, although I may be wrong. The idea was that the graft would grow into the existing cartilage therefore making it stronger.

    Didn't work for me sadly, I was told there was a 75-80% chance it'd work; I was one of the 20-25% where all I grew was scar tissue, but I've subsequently found I hypertrophically scar. (When I heal my body tries to over-heal thereby making too much scar tissue).

    When I had this done I was in a full leg cast for 10 days - made life very difficult. After that I had loads of physio. In 2004 I ended up having a partial knee replacement at the age of 44 as I couldn't manage the pain any more.

    I hope that your niece has a positive response to this. At least being a physio she'll know what exercises to do!

    Turn a negative into a positive!
  • Jen
    Jen Member Posts: 155
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks folks I'll look up sturge posts. Its disappointing when a procedure doesn't work.

    Grace its a shame it didn't work for you after having gone through all the procedures and recovery time.

    Oh dear the success rate not as high as one would hope. I do hope it works for my niece, being as young as she is.

    I wish modern medicine would get more state of the art, it seems to fail in so many ways at times.

    x x Jen x x
  • ITLSusan
    ITLSusan Applicant2 Posts: 74
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have an acquaintance that recently underwent stem cell therapy to treat hip osteoarthritis.

    His symptoms and onset had been very similar to mine and both of us were keen runners and wanted to keep running. That's how we know each other.

    He had Stem Cell Treatment earlier this year - he's now had both hips treated. He was unable to get treatment via the NHS and whilst he didn't tell me the cost he did say it was extremely expensive.

    It's early days for him - he's still doing basic rehab. He says he feels some improvement but that could be more to do with the rehab and break from running. Time will tell.

    It's still experimental. There are no guarantees. And you have to pay dearly to be a part of the experiment. My feeling is that there are cheaper, less invasive and arguably more promising approaches to try before going down this root.

    The big appeal I think is that it's the one thing that claims to restore cartilage. A big 'fear' surrounding OA is the notion that it cannot be reversed on the grounds that cartilage can't be regenerated. However, research shows that we don't need cartilage to be symptom free (very many people have worn away cartilage and no symptoms). So my feeling is that they're perhaps barking up the wrong tree with this line of research.

    He'll be keeping me updated so I'll share how things progress.
  • Jen
    Jen Member Posts: 155
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hope your acquaintance finds things improving soon and he responds well to the treatment.
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