Emory Orthopaedics, Sports and Spine to offer stem cell therapy in Johns Creek to treat arthritis pain
By Alysia Satchel | Woodruff Health Sciences Center | June 6, 2016
Senior Manager, Media Relations
Emory Orthopaedics, Sports and Spine will start offering stem cell therapy at Emory Johns Creek Hospital in July to treat osteoarthritis.
During the treatment, the physician extracts cells from the bone marrow in a patient’s hip or adipose tissue on the stomach. The stem cells are then separated using a centrifuge machine to provide a concentrated sample to inject into the patient’s damaged joint. Since the stem cells are from the patient’s own body, the rejection risk is low.
Emory Healthcare sports medicine physician, Oluseun Olufade, MD, says this treatment can reduce pain and provide long-lasting relief from chronic tendinitis, arthritis and cartilage damage in the joint.
"Stem cells harness the power of your own body and work to actually repair your damaged tissue," says Olufade.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, osteoarthritis is the most common chronic condition of the joints and affects 27 million Americans. The degenerative joint disease causes cartilage to wear down, bones to rub against one another and leads to stiffness and pain. Risk factors like age, obesity, previous joint injury and genetics contribute to the progression of osteoarthritis.
Olufade, who is also an assistant professor in the Departments of Orthopaedics and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation says stem cell therapy offers another alternative to patients who are facing joint-replacement surgery.
"Some patients who are seeking stem cell treatment have already tried physical therapy, cortisone shots, viscosupplementation and platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections without much success," says Olufade.
Patients who undergo stem cell injections should expect to experience soreness for a few days, but many return to their normal activities shortly after the procedure.
The treatment is not covered by most medical insurance. If you have questions about stem cell injections visit www.emoryhealthcare.org or call 404-778-8081.