Stem cell treatment for knees

mizzteak
mizzteak Member Posts: 4
edited 4. Mar 2018, 08:45 in Say Hello Archive
I know using stem cells harvested from adipose abdominal fat is s form of treatment for knees is operational. It comes under various names e.g. prolotherapy, and sometimes involves simultaneous bone marrow harvesting. I am wondering if anyone has had this form of treatment or can guide me about it. I enquired of my GP but she had no knowledge of it and said if it was effective and real then the NHS would have been able to offer it and advised caution about paying for such treatment and more extensive research on my own part. I have subsequently read that such treatment in the UK may be under the constraint of an EU directive. A Physio I spoke to was very off putting when I mentioned it to her telling me that it was only being offered to people like athletes and that it was exceedingly painful. So she obviously knows that it is out there. If you can afford Harley Street prices, its there. BUT is it an effective treatment? I would so love to hear from other people who may have had this done.

Comments

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Mizzteak,

    Welcome to the forum. This seems an interesting idea, used to treat osteoarthritis of the knee. I have seen a report in the Daily Mail regarding this treatment, which is available privately and, according to them, costs around £6000. I think you are referring to two different though similar treatments. One 'harvests' abdominal fat, the other bone marrow, which is a much more involved procedure.

    So far this treatment hasn't been approved by NICE, and I can't find reference to any large scale clinical trials so I guess it won't be approved any time soon.

    It sounds like you have done research yourself so I'm not sure what we can help you with here, do you have OA of the knee and if so what has been offered so far?

    Looking forward to hearing your story soon

    Take care
    Yvonne x
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,213
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I know 'sturge' on here travelled to USA more than once for stem cell treatment but I don't think it helped him.

    If NICE hasn't approved it it won't be available on NHS. I did a search and found some former threads on it https://arthritiscareforum.org.uk/search.php?keywords=stem+cell&terms=all&author=&sc=1&sf=all&sk=t&sd=d&sr=posts&st=0&ch=300&t=0&submit=Search . You'll see that ARUK were sponsoring a trial but I don't know what, if anything, the conclusions were.
    Call me cynical but I've yet to hear of a quick fix solution that works - other than replacement joints. I have four of them and they're very good.
  • mizzteak
    mizzteak Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    moderator wrote:
    Hi Mizzteak,

    Welcome to the forum. This seems an interesting idea, used to treat osteoarthritis of the knee. I have seen a report in the Daily Mail regarding this treatment, which is available privately and, according to them, costs around £6000. I think you are referring to two different though similar treatments. One 'harvests' abdominal fat, the other bone marrow, which is a much more involved procedure.

    So far this treatment hasn't been approved by NICE, and I can't find reference to any large scale clinical trials so I guess it won't be approved any time soon.

    It sounds like you have done research yourself so I'm not sure what we can help you with here, do you have OA of the knee and if so what has been offered so far?

    Looking forward to hearing your story soon

    Take care
    Yvonne x

    Thank you for your response. I have been more seriously affected by knee osteoarthritis not for about 2-3 years. I have gone down the physio/steroid injection route until the consultant said there was nothing more she could do for me. Naturally I am looking at what else I can do to improve my situation that would be effective as I am really keen to get more active again including being able to walk more, climb stairs with ease, getting off the toilet without needing to support myself etc etc. I completely take on board that the newer therapies I am coming across, of which there are quite a few different types typically involving some sort of injection, are not proven enough for NICE to approve and that there are misleading indicators out there. I still want to investigate my options for a better quality of life.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Like Sticky I recall sturge's expensive mis-adventures with this, sadly it didn't work for him; others may have tried but have never let us know how they got on. There might be a one-size-fits-all solution some time in the future but be wary: the heartless know how to exploit our fears to fatly line their wallets, especially in the USA where ill health is big business (the NHS spoils us to an extent that few realise).

    Good luck with your research and if you find something, no matter what it costs or where you get it, I hope it works. I have two kinds of arthritis, both are pretty advanced and, in my case, once the damage was done there was no undoing to be achieved. That made my life far easier to manage as I stopped chasing a dream and focused on the here-and-now. Yes, it has affected the quality of my life but it was never that great to start with - you don't miss what you haven't had. For those who have had a better time of things its impact and increasing limitations must be far harder to deal with. I wish you well. DD
  • mizzteak
    mizzteak Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks to those responding. I have taken all the comments on board. It seems I cannot follow though on this stem cell aspect any further. However, I am actively in consultation with a practitioner for Prolozone treatment. When I asked if it was effective why has it not been on the NHS, I am told by the practitioner that the particular road of treatment pursued within the NHS lies largely under the constraints imposed by the pharmalogical companies thus making such treatment more readily available in for example Germany, less accessible here in the UK.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,213
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    In your shoes I'd do more research before spending money on this.

    Arthritis Research UK doesn't seem to have heard of it.

    I can find no reference to NICE approving it which will be why the NHS doesn't offer it.

    From what I can find out I don't think this is offered by the German health service either though, as that's not a free service like ours, patients might be able to pay for it.

    I'm sorry to sound so negative. You will obviously do what you think best. But I would check that your 'practitioner' is medically qualified.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,213
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    P.S. The guy who invented prolozone therapy, Dr Frank Shallenberger, has had several lawauits against him for malpractice.http://faculty.uml.edu/sgallagher/california_medical_board_case_ag.htm
  • Momo
    Momo Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello,

    I have recently read about this stem cell treatment as well and was wondering if there are any clinical trials available in the UK where someone could participate as a patient volunteer. The treatment seems to be in its early trial stages, and it is only helping some people with onset of knee osteoarthritis (stage 1, cartilage needs to be still intact).

    Personally, I would still wait with such a new type of treatment if it was available on the NHS or privately now. I can still remember when eyelaser treatments became available in the 80s, and all the side effects and problems it caused for many years.

    Cheers!
    Momo (recently diagnosed with onset of knee osteoarthritis 😢)