It has been estimated that more than millions of people in developed countries have been affected by distracting diseases, such as osteoarthritis. According to the world health survey, arthritis is being referred to as a primary cause of disability associated with reduced quality of life. Currently, only joint replacement surgery is being identified as the possible cure; however, the option of surgery comes handy with a number of risks like opportunistic infections due to suppressed immunity, therapeutic recovery, cost of surgery, etc. In this regard, an alternative approach like stem cell therapy can be the most reasonable choice to effectively manage symptoms.
Osteoarthritis often progresses slowly with degeneration of softer tissues, such as ligaments, cartilages, etc. Although the disability is affecting people of random age as well as gender; but more commonly obese people in their late forties are reported to be usual victims. Being a joint disorder, the generalized self-reported symptoms can be noted as joint pain, morning stiffness, tenderness in the joints, etc. In an advanced stage of osteoarthritis, wherein the cushioning material in between the joints is being completely degraded, exposing increasing friction between the two joint; causing a painful condition, identified to be as osteophytes or bone spurs. Moreover, decreased joint movement may cause muscular atrophy and laxity of the ligament.
The pathogenesis of the condition has been linked with many biochemical as well as mechanical forces; operating intrinsically, such as the limited supply of nutrition as well as oxygen. Apparently, inadequate production of cells that have been lost are as well the leading cause of further tissue destruction. With the recent advanced investigations, osteoarthritis of the joints has as well been accredited to synovial inflammation, a negative response of immune cells to promote cartilage debris.
The stem cells potential of self-regeneration into musculoskeletal tissues, such as chondrocytes, cartilages matrix as well as elastin fibers has been exploited by the medical science to treat slow degrading disease, such as osteoarthritis. The aim of their utilization in treatment modalities is to promote natural healing through the creation of microenvironment, synthesis of healing growth factors as well as regeneration of targeted tissue-specific cells in order to functionally restore the mechanism along with effective pain management. The promising candidates, which can be effectively used in the therapy are mesenchymal stem cells along with hematopoietic stem cells isolated from autologous tissues, such adipose tissue; which have been clinically studied for their safety as well as feasibility. Moreover, their stimulation using autologous platelet-rich plasma has been exhibited to be helpful in speedy recovery. Their global extensive studies have confirmed their differential behavior.
Based on the current investigational status; autologous applications of stem cells for osteoarthritis have to be more fine-tuned for their dosing, route of administration and number of infusion. Thus, in conclusion, current aspects of stem cell therapy should not be referred to as the ultimate gold standard treatment for osteoarthritis, an incomplete cure per se. However, considering the current medical options; it can be certainly referred to as the perfect choice with complete safety and better effectivity as against the joint replacement surgery.