Managing an Arthritic Hip with Stem Cells Over the Long Haul
Can we manage severe hip arthritis with hip stem cell injections?
CM is a 52 year old woman who presented to our clinic in 2008 with fairly severe hip arthritis (most of the hip cartilage gone, but not “bone on bone”). She was very active and noted a significant decrease in hip range of motion and new onset hip pain after trying to get back in shape with yoga. She was seen by our clinic in 2008. While she had clear hip arthritis, like many of our hip arthritis patients, she also had irritated nerves in her back that went undiagnosed, so these were treated as well. In 2008 she received a Regenexx-C procedure where we injected her own cultured stem cells. She came back last year for an update treatment where we again treated her low back and injected same day stem cells into her hip. This year she’s back for another update injection of same day cells as she’s very active and wants to continue to work out at a high level. So where is she at at this point? She reports about 70% overall improvement and is much more active. However, an important point is that she has not regained her lost hip range of motion (ROM). As I have blogged before, this lost hip ROM likely comes from the early and destructive phase of hip arthritis and even patients treated with stem cells rarely recover this function. So how did she do structurally over the past 4 years? I’ve placed her films above. Note that while the 2008 MRI is a slightly different front-back angle, the arthrograms (radiographic contrast in the joint) are remarkable for what they don’t show over the past 4 years. They don’t show any significant advancement in joint space collapse. Since they’re not 100% perfect matched images for angle of the x-ray beam, it’s tough to call any increase in joint space using these films.
The upshot? This woman has regained much lost physical activity and has maintained significant reductions in pain over the past 4 years. Her hip arthritis (which usually progresses rapidly) is stable, but her hip range of motion hasn’t returned. It’s likely that she will continue to get update treatments once every year or two.
NOTE: Regenexx-C is a medical procedure and like all medical procedures has a success and a failure rate. Not all Regenexx-C patients will have the same result. The Regenexx-C procedure licensed by RegenexxCayman is not approved by the U.S. FDA for use in the United States. RegenexxCayman is an independently owned and operated medical services provider operating exclusively in the Cayman Islands and is not part of or affiliated with the Centeno-Schultz Clinic or any U.S. Regenexx Network provider.