Stem cell therapy could eventually eliminate the need for joint replacement. Rather than surgically replacing joints, therapies of the future will focus on the use of stem cells and gene therapy in the new scientific field of tissue re-engineering.”
New York, NY (PRWEB) December 8, 2009
Dr. Einhorn’s high success rate with BMAC for early stage Avascular Necrosis (AVN) of the hip offers patients a less invasive alternative to hip replacement.
Using non-embryonic stem cells harvested from one own’s bone marrow, Dr. Thomas A. Einhorn, renowned Orthopaedic Surgeon and Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Biochemistry and Biomedical Engineering at Boston University, is offering early stage Avascular Necrosis of the Hip patients a successful new treatment, Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentration (BMAC). This innovative, safe technique, which has been practiced by only a few doctors nationwide, gives many patients an alternative to the more invasive hip replacement, as it grows new bone utilizing the patient’s own adult stem cells procured from bone marrow for restoration of function and pathology of hip joints. If AVN is recognized in its early stages, the BMAC procedure can reverse the condition and save the hip joint, eliminating the need for a replacement with an artificial hip joint.
Says Dr. Einhorn, “A total hip replacement is often a sub-optimal solution for patients under 60 years of age due to possible activity restrictions and the fact that a synthetic hip joint will wear out with time. Our breakthrough surgery offers young patients a viable, safe alternative to hip replacement surgery.”
Avascular Necrosis is an abnormal and possibly crippling condition caused by blood loss to a distressed hip bone (femoral head). AVN affects an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 new people each year, worldwide, frequently between the ages of 20 and 60. When the blood supply to the inside of the hip bone is blocked, the area without blood supply can die, often leading to breaks and subsequent collapse of the outside of the hip bone.
AVN of the hip is most commonly caused by use of corticosteroids, such as too high doses for short periods of time, or lower doses for prolonged periods of time. Excessive alcohol intake can also restrict the flow of blood to the bones, increasing one’s risk of AVN. People suffering from sickle cell anemia are also susceptible to AVN, as abnormal red blood cells clump inside the bone and obstruct blood flow. Deprived of blood's important nutrients, including oxygen, tissues fail to survive and begin to break down, causing necrosis.
BMAC Procedure offers Rapid Recovery.
After the procedure, patients can bear full weight after a week, and resume exertional physical activity at six months. “The idea is that once the stem cells are in the cavity, they will take nourishment from any remaining vasculature or blood supply and start to grow, differentiating into bone tissue,” says Dr. Einhorn. “This new bone tissue should then use the surrounding necrosed tissue as a scaffold, putting living bone back where it belongs.”
Groundbreaking Treatment Based on Extensive Research.
Dr. Einhorn's research at the Boston University Orthopaedic Research Lab has been funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1990. Working closely with a team of 50 physicians and scientists, including orthopaedic surgeons, Ph.D. scientists, graduate students, orthopaedic doctors in training, nurse practitioners, and post doctorate fellows, Dr. Einhorn continues to research and develop new therapies to enhance the repair of bone, and the blood supply to bone.
Adult stem cells are harvested from the patient's own bone marrow, not from fetal or embryonic sources.
While embryonic stem cells are procured from a developing embryo at the blastocyst stage, adult stem cells are found in all tissues of the growing human being, and have the potential to transform into most of the other cell types.
"Stem Cell Therapy could eventually eliminate the need for joint replacement,” says Dr. Einhorn. Rather than surgically replacing joints, as has been the standard medical approach in the past, therapies of the future will focus on the use of stem cells and gene therapy in the new scientific field of tissue re-engineering. "It's the future of our specialty," adds Dr. Einhorn.
Thomas A. Einhorn, M.D., is Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, and Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Biochemistry and Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. Since 1982, he has practiced as a leading surgeon specializing in reconstructive surgery of the hip and knee in Boston and New York.
For two years, Dr. Einhorn has been performing successful breakthrough surgery to reduce the progression, and, in many cases, eliminate Avascular Necrosis of the Hip, utilizing a safe, innovative Bone Marrow Aspiration Concentration technique to grow new bone from the patient's own stem cells procured from bone marrow. Involving the direct inoculation of autologous bone marrow stem cells, which reduces the risk of rejection, Dr. Einhorn states, “The success rate is highest when the disease is diagnosed in its early stages.”
Internationally acclaimed as a leader in the field of regenerative medicine, an area heralded as the future of orthopaedics, Dr. Thomas A. Einhorn has been consistently recognized in Castle Connolly's America's Top Doctors, Best Doctors, Best Doctors of Boston, and Best Doctors of New York.