Arthritis treatment is focusing on the symptoms of the condition but is not addressing the underlying causes. Instead, there is something we can do right now, to repair the damage to the cartilage. The Stone Clinic, among others, is pioneering groundbreaking therapies using adult stem cells, meniscus transplantation and other biologic procedures with the goal of addressing the cause of arthritis and reversing its symptoms.
With an advanced procedure called the articular cartilage paste graft, we can fill the hole in the cartilage that’s causing the arthritis. By filling the hole, we can halt and reverse the symptoms. Think of it like having a dentist fill a hole in your tooth. You’d rather have a filling to catch the decay early on than get a set of dentures right? It’s the same with cartilage damage. A joint is a little more complicated than a tooth since the hole in the cartilage is more difficult to fill but it’s the same concept: fill the hole to stop it getting bigger and causing further painful damage.
With a paste graft, a small amount of the patient’s own bone, adult stem cells (from the patient’s bone marrow) and cartilage are taken out of the knee, crushed into a paste and compressed back into an arthritic defect in the joint. From there, the knee grows its own replacement tissue, right inside the joint, taking full advantage of the healing ability of the patient’s own stem cells. It’s an arthroscopic, outpatient surgery.