Injuring a joint increases the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis in the future. In addition injuring the ligaments and tendons that support a joint likely creates a local environment and mechanical factors that predisposes to the eventual development of osteoarthritis. All traditional treatments for osteoarthritis have been focused on pain control. More recent treatments such as PRP have been used to prevent the progression of arthritis. Well there is now a study showing the potential of stem cells in preventing arthritis.

Using a mouse model that intentionally had trauma induced to a joint, the introduction of autologous mesenchymal stem cells helped prevent the development of osteoarthritis. What does this mean? It means that what has traditionally been thought of as a degenerative and inevitable process may be prevented with a treatment that does not require medication or surgery. Strictly using your own cells to create the appropriate micro environment within the joint to help heal an injury. This is of course a mouse study and will not change how we treat humans yet. But it offers hope for a preventative treatment that is safe and available to everyone.

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