Stem cells have long been touted as the next big thing. Well just maybe, it is here. According to Dr. Dennis Lox, some patients with a disorder of the bone called avascular necrosis (AVN), have turned to stem cell therapy for aid. Avascular necrosis (AVN) also referred to as osteonecrosis or ischemic necrosis, is a condition in which the blood supply to the bone becomes disrupted, leading that region of bone to die. This is referred to as necrosis. The region may be very painful, and the region of necrosis may collapse resulting in severe arthritis. This has led to numerous joint replacement surgeries. It is estimated that 20,000 new cases a year of AVN, are diagnosed in the United States. AVN commonly occurs in the hip, shoulder, knee, ankle, and can even be present in multiple joints at the same time. www.drlox.com
Dr. Dennis Lox, www.drlox.com a Regenerative and Sports Medicine physician in the Tampa Bay, Florida area, comments that regenerative therapies such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Stem Cell Therapy, are being used to treat avascular necrosis. Dr. Lox reports that what previously was a career ending injury for athletes like Bo Jackson, may not be so today if treated early. Preventing the secondary arthritis in AVN may save the joint. Also, Dr. Lox stresses, it is possible that the lost blood supply can be repaired, and stem cells have healed areas of bone necrosis.
AVN may be caused by many factors. Trauma is a frequent precipitating event. It also may be seen in some medical conditions, especially those that impair blood flow, such as embolism and thrombosis (blood clots). AVN also is seen with greater frequency with prolonged high corticosteroid usage.
Dr. Lox reports, he has treated almost every joint that gets AVN successfully with stem cells, including athletes in many different sports. He states it is imperative to get early treatment, and thoroughly evaluate each patient individually for optimal treatment decisions.