Osteoarthritis

New England Stem Cell Institute

Stem Cell Clinic & Regenerative Medicine located in Glastonbury, CT

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative process that slowly and progressively destroys joints, producing pain, loss of function and deformation of the affected areas. Regenerative medicine treatments at The New England Stem Cell Institute can help you stay active despite the OA. Paul Tortland, DO, and Jeffrey LaVallee, MD, provide PRP and stem cell-based therapies that can reduce your pain and improve function and quality of life. To learn more about the benefits of regenerative medicine treatments for osteoarthritis, call our office today or schedule online!

Osteoarthritis Q & A

What causes osteoarthritis? 

Osteoarthritis (OA), also known as the “wear and tear” kind of arthritis, is a degenerative process that slowly and progressively destroys joints, producing pain, loss of function and deformation of the affected areas. Quality of life can decrease considerably due to the pain and lack of movement, becoming incapacitating in advanced stages. 

The underlying cause of OA increasingly is being recognized as inflammation leading to cartilage damage due to an inadequate healing response.  

As the cartilage breaks down, more bone is exposed, allowing the bones to rub against each other.  The increased stress on the bones can cause bone spurs to develop.  

However, the loss of cartilage is NOT the cause of OA.  Rather, the loss of cartilage is a result of underlying inflammation that breaks down the cartilage and inhibits the body’s attempt to repair it. 


What are some symptoms due to osteoarthritis? 

The cumulative effect of the changes in your joint lead to:

  •   Painful or aching joints
  •   Enlarged joints
  •   Stiff joints, especially after prolonged activity (such as sleeping or watching TV)
  •   Limited movement
  •   Swelling in joints
  •   Crepitus (grinding, clicking, or creaking noises) 


How is osteoarthritis treated? 

Current non-surgical treatments for OA include physical therapy, pain medications, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, Motrin & Aleve, and joint injections, such as hyaluronic acid (HA) and corticosteroids.  

The goal is to reduce symptoms and improve joint function. However, none of these treatments is able to stop the progression of OA or reverse the resulting damage, often leaving patients with total joint replacement as the only treatment alternative.  And some of these treatments, such as NSAIDs and steroid injections can actually have serious long-term side effects. (For example, we now know that cortisone is actually toxic to joint cartilage! And repeat cortisone injections can cause faster decay of the joint.)

Some surgeons will do arthroscopic surgery to “clean out” an arthritic knee joint.  But many recent well-done studies have shown that not only does such surgery NOT provide any long-term relief, but it actually increases the speed of developing worsening arthritis and increases the risk of needing a total knee replacement. 

Regenerative Medicine treatment is an excellent non-surgical option for treating OA.

The doctors at the New England Stem Cell Institute are leaders and pioneers in Regenerative Medicine treatments for OA.  Their goal is to reduce your pain and improve your function and quality of life. 

The regenerative treatments offered by the team at the New England Stem Cell Institute include: 

  •   Stem cell-based treatments
  •   PRP (platelet-rich plasma)
  •   Prolotherapy and Prolozone®

The physicians at the New England Stem Cell Institute have been doing regenerative medicine treatments longer than most in the country.  Few have their level of skill and experience.

IMPORTANT: NO regenerative medicine treatment, including stem cell-based therapies, can “regrow” cartilage if there is no cartilage left.  No research has ever shown this to occur. The only way to get rid of arthritis in a joint is to get rid of the joint - that is, a joint replacement.

But these treatments can be tremendously helpful to reduce pain and inflammation, and to improve function and quality of life.  They do this by helping to restore a healthy biological environment within the joint and surrounding tissue.