Stem Cell Therapy for Osteoarthritis, Joint Problems and Sports Injuries

Stem cells from one’s own body fat provide a new treatment option for osteoarthritis, cartilage damage, and sports injuries. Knee joints, hip joints, the joints of the shoulders, hands, and fingers, as well as the spine can be treated. Stem cell therapy is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia. The aim of the treatment is to regenerate and retain the natural joint, relieve pain, and restore mobility.

At a Glance

  • Surgery duration: 1 to 3 hours (outpatient)
  • Anesthesia: Exclusively local anesthesia (tumescent anesthesia)
  • Mobility: Directly after surgery
  • Preliminary examinations: Blood test, X-ray/MRI of the joint, further examinations depending on the patiepent’s state of health
  • Check-ups: To be arranged on an individual basis

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Using Autologous Stem Cells to Treat Osteoarthritis, Deteriorated Cartilages, and Joint Problems

As a consequence of overweight and excessive stress during sports, many people already suffer from joint problems such as cartilage damage, joint wear, osteoarthritis, and injuries at a relatively young age. In most cases, the knee, shoulder and finger joints are affected, and in older persons, also the hip joints and spine.

Apart from weight loss, only physiotherapy, special training or symptomatic pain therapy are recommended for diseases described in medicine as osteoarthritis (also known as arthritis, degenerative arthritis, degenerative joint disease, osteoarthrosis). Subsequently, the progress is observed. If the condition worsens, an artificial joint (joint implant) is inserted.

However, an artificial joint can never replace a natural one. Surgery lasting several hours under general anesthesia is complicated, laborious and expensive. In many cases, blood transfusions are necessary.

Stem Cells Instead of Joint Prosthesis

The regenerative powers of stem cells have been used in veterinary medicine for some time now. Racehorses and dogs suffering from joint problems and sports injuries are treated with stem cells obtained from the fat of these animals. Stem cells extracted from the animals’ autologous fat appear to be suited for the regeneration of damaged joints, bones and cartilages.

Results from studies on humans sound promising: Patients treated with stem cells from autologous fat stated that they suffered less pain and that their mobility had increased considerably. If damaged joints are treated early with stem cells, patients could be given a better quality of life and furthermore be spared the necessity of having an artificial joint for the time being.

In my hair salon, I am constantly on my feet. This has put my knees on my knees and I suffered from pain. I wanted to avoid knee surgers and therefore decided to undergo the treatment with fat stem cells. Now I am free of pain and able to ski and bike again. I recommend Clinic DDr. Heinrich®.

Karl “Charly” Plasil, OSSIG hairstyle & beauty

Stem cells and progenitor cells of the connective tissue, so-called mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), may play a pivotal role in the regeneration of deteriorated cartilages, bones and joints. Every person has enough of these vital cells, since fat tissue contains them in large quantities. Artificial reproduction of them in laboratories is therefore unnecessary.

Stem Cell Therapy for Sports Injuries

For torn muscle fibers and also extremely painful sports injuries requiring a longer healing period, there are indications that stem cells have the potential to speed up regeneration and healing.

During treatment, a small quantity of fat is extracted with microcannulas, using local anesthesia, from which the stem cells are then isolated. Immediately afterwards, the stem cells are usually injected into the joint area affected or injured areas, for example, on knees, hips, hands, or fingers. Treatment is carried out on an outpatient basis. The patient is fully mobile afterwards.

For several years I could hardly move my knees while walking, standing, climbing stairs, and getting out of the car. Physical therapy and infiltration unfortunately brought no relief. After the joint treatment with my stem cells I can now move my knees again.

Mr. G., 64

I had a lot of pain in my ankle, even at rest. As a result, I could barely work in my garden. Hyalurone and nutritional supplements did not lead to an improvement. I had confidence in Dr. Heinrich from the beginning. After the treatment, the pain was gone! I am looking forward to the fall, when I can collect mushrooms again. I am very happy about the result.

Alfred D., 82

For about one and a half years I suffered from pain when walking long distances. Injection of painkillers unfortunately only helped for a short time. DDr. Heinrich treated the knee osteoarthritis with my own fat stem cells. After the small outpatient procedure, my knee pain subsided. In the meantime, I can walk free of pain again. I recommend the Clinic DDr. Heinrich®.

Mrs. W., 81

Three years ago the problems in my knee joint started and recently got worse and worse. Climbing stairs was very difficult and I had to restrict my hiking tours in the nature. Thanks to a treatment of my knee with body’s own fat stem cells in the clinic of DDr. Heinrich I do feel much better now. I can climb stairs again without any pain and I can manage to walk longer distances – without painkillers.

Mrs. F., Vienna

I have always been athletic. 30 years ago, I first felt a stinging pain in my knees. The pain increasingly troubled me. I wanted to be more mobile again. That is why I underwent knee treatment with my own fat stem cells in the Clinic DDr. Heinrich®. Since then my joint problem has improved significantly. The next day I was practically free of pain and that’s how it stayed. In the meantime, I even ride my racing bike again!

Hermann F., 64

Due to osteoarthritis in my knees I decided to get treated with stem cells in the clinic of DDr. Heinrich. Now, 3 months after having received the therapy, I can walk better and feel more stable with my knees. I am happy with this result and started doing Pilates and spinning again. I am very thankful to DDr. Heinrich and his team.

Mrs. de L., Belgium

When I climbed stairs my knee suddenly hurt badly. Unfortunately, the pain did not go away. Diagnosis: Cartilage damage in the knee. I could not do sports anymore. Then I decided to undergo joint treatment with my own fat stem cells. I was very well cared for by DDr. Heinrich and his team. What pleases me in particular is that I am now able to walk, cycle, and swim again!

Mr. B., 64

I had permanent pain in the knees and the spine and could only walk short distances. Hiking, skiing, and cycling were impossible. My relatives often helped me at home. I felt in good hands in the Clinic DDr. Heinrich®. After the procedure my condition got better and better. The knees barely hurt after 3 weeks, the pain in the spine faded. I am very glad that I can go for light walks again!

Gertraud K.

The regenerative effect should begin in the weeks following treatment. A potential repeat treatment session would take place several months after the initial treatment, depending on the extent of symptom improvements.

Kindly note that no guarantees or promise of cure can be given in medicine generally; this also applies to advanced treatments such as stem cell therapy. Although we carry out your surgery with the greatest care and have achieved excellent results in part with stem cell treatment, adult stem cells are not a universal remedy.

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This page serves the purpose of information only and is not to be understood as medical advice. We would like to expressly point out that a cure cannot be guaranteed. Stem cell therapy is an advanced procedure, which has only recently been applied worldwide and for which the long-term studies and reliable documentation on successes, risks and side effects required for a recognized procedure are not yet available.

The legislation on stem cell therapies and conducting of new therapies varies from country to country worldwide. In our clinic in Austria we only carry out the treatments permitted under the applicable legal situation. For other treatments we have worldwide contacts in our cooperation network and can support the selection of specialized medical facilities abroad.

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