For the Regenexx same day stem cell procedure that we do in clinic, more data is emerging from the Regenexx research network. A major advantage of being part of the Regenexx network is that a well studied approach to care leads to more objective decisions and standardized treatment algorithms. Regenerative medicine is still at an early stage. It’s good to be part of an organized thoughtful network.
Previously for knee arthritis it was felt that degree of arthritis, age, and obesity may influence outcome. Interestingly, none of these variables actually influence improvement in pain and functional outcomes. This is surprising, but does suggest that people who we previously felt were poor candidates for treatment, perhaps should be treated.
For hips, it appears that age greater than 55 may worsen outcomes. This doesn’t mean that if you are older than 55 then stems cells for your hip won’t help, but the odds are a bit worse compared to the knee. One thought is that the native stem cells in a knee are more plentiful compared to the hip.
Another interesting question is whether baseline range of motion in a joint can influence outcomes. The results are not in yet. But if you can catch someone before they have lost significant range of motion in an arthritic joint, intuitively it makes sense that a regenerative treatment can benefit more. In fact, a model of care that is emerging is treating at an earlier stage before excessive damage has occurred. Ideally prevention of damage before restricted range of motion occurs would result in better outcomes. As more data comes out, this will continue to refine how we asses and treat patients.