Upstate Answers: How soon will stem cells treat orthopedic injuries?

Q (from reader, Sally White of Syracuse) Studies are underway in other countries, and a couple in the United States using a product that helps with regenerating one’s injured knee. The procedure uses both your own stem cells and umbilical stem cells. How soon will we have such treatments in Syracuse?

A (from Kevin Setter, MD, associate professor of orthopedic surgery at Upstate) “I’m actually starting to develop some FDA trials for this procedure – which is not just for the knee — so we’re hoping by this summer. Stem cell therapy is pretty new in the United States, but it is already in use in Asia and Europe, and it holds a lot of promise.

“Stem cells are cells which haven’t differentiated yet. In the right environment, they can differentiate into the tissues you would like.

“There are three trials we are designing protocols for now. One is for overuse injuries such as tennis elbow and Achilles tendonitis. The second one is for tendon repair, for certain tendons that are stubborn and don’t like to heal. The third trial we want to do is looking at how to use stem cells to treat arthritis.

“Anyone who wants to learn more about these trials can contact me at 315-464-8634.”

If you have a question for the experts at Upstate, please submit it to whatsup@upstate.edu. We may feature your question – and answer – in an upcoming issue of Upstate Health.

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