Biologic Subchondral Injection
What is it?
Can It help the stem cell treatment of my knee?
For over five years, Kelly Cunningham MD, of Austin OrthoBiologics has been using mesenchymal stem cell treatment (MSC, from a patient’s own bone marrow) to very successfully treat the pain and disability of mild to moderate knee arthritis.
Now, the stem cell frontier has yielded another exciting procedure that can be combined with MSC joint injection:
Subchondroplasty is the intraosseous (in-bone) injection of stem cell, with or without a bone substitute, to augment the pain relief of MSC joint injection alone.
In layman‘s terms, your own harvested stem cells can now be used not only in the joint, but in the adjacent knee bone (end of femur/top of tibia-shin) to magnify the effect; lessening pain and improving function.
Based on the pioneering work of Dr. Philip Hernigou in Paris, France, (with whom Dr. Cunningham has studied), years of European trials & treatments have revealed that the response of living bone to the growth factors and “apocrine” signals from these stem cells can be dramatic.
The key concept appears to be consideration of the knee joint and it’s degeneration as “organ failure”, involving many areas beyond just the joint lining & cartilage, to include stress fracture or early pre-collapse of the painful underlying, supporting bone.
Each part of the painful knee can now be treated by direct injection, usually without surgery.
In addition to the knee, the hip & shoulder will also respond, where a form of subchondroplasty has been used for AVN (avascular necrosis) for decades. This is an exciting new application of the pain-relieving effects of stem cell treatment.
In years of orthopedic practice in Austin, he has observed that some arthroscopic surgery patients have trouble fully recovering if underlying arthritis is present. Now there is a way to treat those patients more successfully.
This is an exciting advancement in OrthoBiologic sports medicine and one that will evolve in the coming years:
over 300 scientific papers a year are published in the exploding field of Biologics; the future of orthopedic regenerative medicine is bright.
Dr. Cunningham one of the first surgeons in Austin to offer subchondroplasty as both an office and co-surgical treatment for his patients. Early results with respect to return to sport/activity have been remarkable; far sooner than surgery or traditional treatments alone.
Dr. Cunningham was one of the first orthopedists in Austin to offer Biologics (such as PRP and stem cell) to his patients.
Now in his 30th year of practice,
he still strives for continuous improvement in pain relief and a quick return to activity for his patients…
His years of medical experience show-
-more surgery is not always better
-the goal being better and more comfortable patients, surgery is not always the answer...