Stem Cells from Fat Tissue Help in Joint Wear

Advances in the treatment of osteoarthritis with stem cells from body fat

Vienna (2017-01-17) — Many people suffer from joint problems as a result of wear or sports injuries. In order to restore the mobility of the injured joints and to alleviate the pain so far a drug treatment or an artificial joint replacement was required.

For sufferers osteoarthritis often means a significant reduction in their quality of life: Pain, deformities of the joints, and movement restrictions stress patients and impair their mobility and activity in everyday life. To date, healing has been considered impossible.

Current studies and experience show that stem cells from body fat can alleviate pain and immobility and can also contribute to the regeneration of the damaged joints. For example, a patient suffering from osteoarthritis of the thumb joint (carpometacarpal osteoarthritis) was successfully treated with stem cells from her own fat at the university hospital in Graz, Austria: Her own fat stem cells were injected into the area of the thumb joint of one hand during the procedure. As a result, the joint mobility improved and the patient could use her hand again. Due to the success achieved and the gentle treatment process the patient now wishes to have her other hand treated with stem cells too.

“Stem cells from fat tissue have anti-inflammatory and regenerative effects in the body. Regenerative medicine makes use of this healing mechanism of the body for the treatment of joint disorders,” says DDr. Karl-Georg Heinrich, physician from Vienna who is working in the field of regenerative and aesthetic medicine. In Clinic DDr. Heinrich® stem cells from the patient’s own fat are also used for the treatment of degenerative diseases and circulatory disorders as well as for skin rejuvenation.

Joint treatment with the patient’s own fat stem cells is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia in Clinic DDr. Heinrich®. First, a small amount of fat is harvested. During the procedure “Stromal Vascular Fraction” (SVF) is obtained therefrom, which has a high content of mesenchymal fat stem cells (“Adipose-Derived Stem Cells”, ADSCs). The SVF is immediately injected into the affected joint areas, most commonly of knees, hips, hands, and fingers.

“The fat stem cells seem to stimulate the regeneration of the cartilage in the damaged joint and thus help the body to remedy the cause of the joint problems,” explains DDr. Heinrich. In this way many patients could be spared surgical procedures under general anesthesia, artificial joints, as well as the associated long healing and elaborate rehabilitation.

Further information:

Clinic DDr. Heinrich®
Contact: Herfried Wagner
Phone: +43 1 532 18 01

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