Osteoarthritis and joint problems: Stem cell treatment helps with damaged joints.
Almost one out of six Austrians suffers from joint problems. Pain and restrictions of movement mean a loss of quality of life for the people concerned. Age-related degenerations and physical overstrain in sports, at work, or in daily life, as well as injuries and overweight, can lead to damages on knees, hips, and other joints.
What is there to do when the joints start hurting? Getting professional help to avoid further damage is the first step. The clinic of DDr. Heinrich is focusing on gentle, regenerative treatments of the affected areas. DDr. Heinrich explains what we can do for our joints and which new forms of treatments are offered in this field.
DDr. Heinrich treats joints with stem cells from body fat.
I am suffering from joint pains – what can I do now?
DDr. Heinrich: Pain, crackling, and stiffness are warning signs of the body that damage in the joint might occur. It is advisable to get an X-ray or an MRI to clarify the causes. When diagnosed with osteoarthritis or degeneration it is important to take measures right away. Your own joints should be preserved for as long as possible.
Are there alternative joint treatments to avoid getting a joint prosthesis?
DDr. Heinrich: Treatments with the body’s own stem cells can help with joint degeneration and osteoarthritis. Stem cells are responsible for tissue repairs in the body. There are a particularly large number of stem cells in body fat. During the treatment, we inject stem cells which are obtained from the patient’s body fat and injected where regeneration is needed.
The goal is to relieve pain and regain lost mobility. Stressful operations under general anesthetics, a joint prosthesis and the complex rehabilitation processes following such treatments should be avoided. All joints can be treated with this new method: knees, hips, ankles, the spine and joints of the hands and feet.
How does the treatment with fat stem cells work when suffering from osteoarthritis?
DDr. Heinrich: The treatment of osteoarthritis and cartilage damage with stem cells is carried out using a special, minimally-invasive technique: A small amount of body fat is obtained by liposuction; the stem cells contained in the body fat are used to treat the affected joint. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, and patients can be sent home immediately after the procedure.
The joint treatment with stem cells is done under local anesthesia. Therefore, it also offers a gentle alternative for patients for whom general anesthesia is not an option. A generally stable state of health is required, there is no age limit.
What can I do to prevent my joints from degeneration and damage?
DDr. Heinrich: For prevention or in case of minor complaints, protection and a change of lifestyle habits are recommended. At the same time, it is important to supply the body with the necessary nutrients. I recommend taking suitable supplements for a few months. If the body has enough of the necessary components, it can keep the bones and tissue intact.
Published in Krone Gesund on October 8, 2019.