Realistic expectations are always necessary when pursuing any treatment. So whenever I see someone who has advanced arthritis but wants to pursue treatment with either stem cells or PRP, I am always cautious and want to give reasonable expected results. With that said, it’s not uncommon even in advanced arthritis to see good pain relief and improvement in function.
Ms KD is a woman in her early 30s who I treated with stem cell treatment for her knee arthritis 6 months ago. She injured her left knee as a teenager which required multiple surgeries at that time. Subsequently over the years she has had arthroscopic surgery and multiple steroid injections with limited benefit. She has tried knee bracing and physical therapy, but over time has developed chronic knee pain, extreme limitation in exercise ability, and significant pain medication requirement. Her MRI shows fairly advanced damage throughout the joint, and she was considered to be a poor candidate for a stem cell treatment. Given her age, poor quality of life, and limited options she decided to try a stem cell treatment for her knee. 3 months out her pain was improved, and 6 months after treatment her pain is now down to 1 out of 10, she is no longer using pain medication, and is functioning better. While results vary between patients, even advanced arthritis patients have the potential to improve in regards to meaningful patient measures such as pain and exercise ability. There are non-surgical treatments available for all levels of arthritis. Working with medical professionals who accept newer novel treatments is essential.