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Huge hopes are placed on treatment with stem cells. What are the options for treating degenerative changes in joints with human stem cells? Will the treatment with deer antler stem cells be effective?

Stem cellshave been used in rheumatology and orthopedics for several years. Medicine takes advantage of the fact that under certain conditions they can differentiate, as if transforming into muscle, cartilage or connective tissue. For orthopedic operations, also for rheumatological reasons, autologous cells, i.e. cells from the patient, are usually used. Then they are implanted in a damaged place in a joint or muscle. As there are slightly fewer of them in the body of a mature person than in a young person, the collected cells are subjected to the process of concentration in a special device. This results in a suspension in which there are many stem cells.

What can be treated with stem cells?

The suspension is used to treat damage to tendons, articular cartilage, in the case of early deformation-degenerative changes occurring, for example, in rheumatoid arthritis. If there is an imbalance in a joint between the repair and degeneration processes, the body is losing - the joint damage processes take over and inflammation develops. In such a situation, administering stem cells gives the patient many benefits - the mobility of the joint improves, pain is relieved, and the process of joint damage is significantly delayed. However, the use of stem cells only makes sense if the joint is not completely damaged. With its complete destruction, a traditional operation is required, often with implantation of an endoprosthesis. When you want to rebuild defects in articular cartilage, the stem cell concentrate on a special collagen carrier can be administered directly into the joint with a needle or using an arthroscope. When reconstructing ligaments or tendons, they are placed in place of damage, which leads to the formation of he althy tissues.

Is stem cell treatment reimbursed?

Unfortunately, reconstructive procedures using stem cells are not reimbursed by the National He alth Fund. For the preparation of stem cells for implantation and the procedure, you need to pay about 8,000. PLN, and for specialist rehabilitationnecessary after the procedure - approx. 5,000 PLN.

Treatment with deer antler stem cells

As for the use of deer antler stem cells, research is being conducted at the Medical Academy in Wrocław. Today it is known that these cells do not sensitize, are not rejected and that they accelerate the healing of difficult-to-heal wounds twice. Administering antler stem cells allows for the regeneration of tissues that age naturally and those that have been damaged by injury or disease. Adding a cell homogenate (cell extract) to a cream or ointment soothes irritations, speeds up wound healing, and reduces itching. Researchers are working on using these stem cells to treat bone, cartilage and epithelial tissue. Perhaps they can also be used for muscle regeneration. Medicines containing antler stem cells are currently in clinical trials and it is difficult to determine when they will be introduced for treatment. For now, cosmetics enriched with antler stem cells are available.

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