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Osteoarthritis: What it is and How to Treat it

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis affecting Australians, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. The condition is more prevalent among women and in Australian adults over the age of 45. While osteoarthritis is a prevalent problem in this country, the good news is innovative new treatments are offering pain relief to those suffering from the condition.

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition that affects the joints of your body. It is a result of cartilage inside the joint wearing out, eliminating the protective layer between the joints that allow for flexibility and pain-free mobility. This degenerative disease can lead to severe pain and a reduction in your ability to perform certain tasks and activities.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

The symptoms of osteoarthritis appear gradually and worsen over time. Those symptoms might include:

  • Pain, swelling and tenderness in the affected joints
  • Reduced mobility and stiffness in the joints
  • Grating sensations or sounds when you try to use the joint
  • Development of hard lumps, known as bone spurs, around the joint

When left unchecked, osteoarthritis symptoms will continue to worsen over time. Joints affected might include the hips, knees, hands and feet.

Possible Complications and Surgical Options

As osteoarthritis progresses, it can make participation in some tasks and activities difficult or nearly impossible. Falls are also more common in osteoarthritis patients, which can lead to fractures and other injuries. In the past, the most common treatment for this condition involved surgical replacement of the joint. Surgery typically involves general anesthesia, a hospital stay and an extended period of recovery and rehabilitation. While often successful, patients are always looking for easier less invasive procedures.

Introduction of Stem Cell Therapy

Fortunately, a new therapy is available for osteoarthritis patients. Stem cell therapy removes stem cells from one area of the body and places them directly it the affected joint. Stem cells encourage the production of healthy tissue in the joint that provides the proper protection, reduces pain and increases flexibility. Stem cell therapy is a procedure that can be performed on an outpatient basis and recovery time is minimal compared to surgery.

At Norwood Day Surgery, we have seen firsthand the positive impact of stem cell therapy on osteoarthritis patients. In our practice, we studied 66 osteoarthritis sufferers that received stem cell therapy. More than 80 percent of those patients reported significant pain relief after stem cell therapy, with most experiencing maximum results approximately six months after treatment. While it is still early to determine how long the positive results last, only 10 percent of our patients undergoing treatment since 2012 have still needed joint replacement after stem cells.

If you are suffering from the pain and reduced mobility of osteoarthritis, Norwood Day Surgery may be able to help. Contact our office at 08 8333 0333 today to find out if stem cell therapy is a viable treatment option for you.

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