Dr. Centeno and Dr. Sheinkop (Chicago Regenexx Network provider) will be presenting new knee and hip stem cell data today at the LA Orthobiologic Conference. While Dr. Centeno will present lab data on how local anesthetics and hormone supplementation impact stem cells (this is likely of more interest to doctors who perform stem cell procedures), Dr. Sheinkop is actually presenting information that may be of more interest to our blog readers.
Dr. Sheinkop is an orthopedic surgeon who used to perform many knee and hip replacements. Like some surgeons he became concerned that given the extreme invasiveness of these procedures (chopping a joint out of the body) and significant complications (like an increased chance for stroke and heart attack with hip replacement and the negative effects of wear particles), the outcomes weren’t all that great. As a result, he wanted to compare the Regenexx-SD stem cell procedure for hip and knee arthritis patients which involves an exacting injection of the patient’s own stem cells to the data he had collected on joint replacement patients in 2007. Here is his full knee and hip arthritis stem cell presentation, but I have taken the liberty of highlighting a few important points below:
-73% of the Regenexx-SD hip arthritis patients returned to sporting activities
-Regenexx-SD hip patients ended up with more range of motion than hip replacement patients at 1 year after the procedure
-Regenexx-SD hip arthritis patients had similar functional scores at one year as the hip replacement patients (in this metric the hip replacement edged out Regenexx-SD and bested it for pain alone, however given the difference in invasiveness of the two procedures the Regenexx-SD results are hard to argue).
-The Regenexx-SD patients had similar physician assessment scores compared to the knee replacement patients at 1 year, with Regenexx-SD edging out the knee replacements (Knee Society Assessment Score)
-Regenexx-SD patients had significantly better functional scores compared to knee replacement patients at 1 year (Knee Society Function Score)
The upshot? As we have said before, same day stem cell treatments generally work better in knee arthritis patients compared to hip arthritis, yet in this comparison study, given that we’re comparing a very invasive procedure where the joint is surgically removed and replaced compared to an injection, the stem cell hip procedure really did quite well. In addition, a very high number of stem cell patients went back to sports activity. For knee arthritis patients, the stem cell procedures generally bested the knee replacement procedures.
Some caveats of this data. First, this wasn’t a randomized controlled trial like one would see in drug studies. That’s not yet available for stem cell procedures nor for joint replacements (believe it or not). In addition, the knee and hip replacement patients in these studies tended to be a bit more impacted at start than the stem cell patients. Finally, this is a comparison of patients treated in 2007 with surgery and patients treated in 2011-13 with stem cells, so while it uses the same metrics for both, the patients weren’t treated side by side. It should also be noted that we didn’t fund this study, Dr. Sheinkop completed it on his own using his own staff. In fact, I didn’t even find out he was doing it until this week when I asked him what he was presenting at this conference.