Stem cell therapy, Lipogems® adipose tissue transfer and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment can provide relief from pain or a reduced range of motion for people suffering from hand, thumb or wrist arthritis or other conditions of the hand.
Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more of your joints and the most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is more common and is caused by the cartilage wearing away. Common symptoms are swelling, stiffness and decreased range of movement. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease which causes the joint lining to swell and leads to pain and stiffness in the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis often starts in the small joints of the hands and feet.
The hand and wrist have multiple small joints and therefore arthritis can occur in many areas. Thumb arthritis is very common and is wear of the cartilage at the base of the thumb joint, also known as the carpometacarpal joint.
Treatment initially involves anti-inflammatory medicines, splinting and corticosteroid injections. If these options don’t work, joint fusions (which relieve pain but stop joint motion) or joint replacements can be performed.
Carpal tunnel syndrome causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and arm. It occurs when one of the main nerves to the hand – the median nerve – is squeezed or compressed as it travels through the wrist.
Initially symptoms can be relieved through wearing a wrist splint or avoiding certain activities.
But if the pressure on the median nerve continues, it can lead to nerve damage and worsening symptoms. To prevent permanent damage, patients may be recommended surgery to take the pressure off the median nerve.
These conditions and other injuries to the hand and wrist can be treated with stem cell therapy, Lipogems® adipose tissue transfer and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment which avoids the need for surgery and enables people to return to normal activities sooner.
Hand and wrist conditions which can be treated with Lipogems® and PRP therapy include:
Background: Most operations for carpometacarpal joint osteoarthritis of the thumb irreversibly alter or destroy the anatomy. There is a high demand for minimally invasive alternatives. The authors report the results of autologous fat transfer for treatment of thumb carpometacarpal joint osteoarthritis.
Methods: In a prospective study, 50 patients with thumb carpometacarpal joint osteoarthritis were observed for 1 year after autologous fat transfer. Manual liposuction and centrifugation were performed. Pain rating according to visual analogue pain scale; objective force of pinch grip and fist closure; and Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire scores before and after treatment were analyzed.
Results: The average pain in stage 2 patients pre-operatively was 7.7 ± 1.3; it was 1.8 ± 1.9 after 6 months and 2.4 ± 3.1 after 12 months. Patients with stage 2 osteoarthritis demonstrated a superior benefit from this treatment compared with patients with either stage 3 or stage 4 thumb carpo-metacarpal joint osteoarthritis. There were similar improvements for the parameters strength and Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire score. No serious adverse events were observed.
Conclusions: Autologous fat transplantation is an appealing alternative, especially in early-stage basal joint osteoarthritis of the thumb. The low invasiveness of the procedure and early recovery of patients compared with classical procedures such as trapeziectomy, and the superior long-term results compared with classical injection therapy, make this approach feasible as a first-line therapy in early-stage basal joint osteoarthritis of the thumb. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 140: 327, 2017.)