Osteoarthritis Q & A


Osteoarthritis affects 10-13% of adults, which makes it the most common joint disorder in the United States. While standard medical treatments only alleviate its symptoms, Dr. David Hirsch at the South Texas Spinal Clinic offers adult stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma injections to regenerate and heal the joint damage caused by osteoarthritis. To learn whether you’re a good candidate for advanced regenerative treatments, call the office in the South Texas area, or book an appointment online.

What Causes Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative disease that can affect any joint but most often develops in your knees, hips, hands, and spine. You’re at a higher risk for developing osteoarthritis if you’re over the age of 50, are overweight, or have suffered a prior joint injury.

Articular cartilage covers the ends of bones where they meet in the joint, creating a cushion that lets them move freely. Osteoarthritis develops as cartilage deteriorates and bones rub against one another, causing pain and stiffness. Over time, inflammation and bone spurs develop, movement becomes restricted, and the joint can be destroyed.

Osteoarthritis also damages bone located just below cartilage and the synovium, which lines the inner joint surface. Inflammation of synovial tissues often occurs early in the disease.

How is Osteoarthritis Typically Treated?

Standard treatment focuses on relieving your symptoms and maintaining joint mobility through physical therapy, exercise, yoga, and other options. You can also take oral pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications.

Otherwise, standard treatment options include:

  • Nutraceuticals such as chondroitin sulfate
  • Cortisone injections to alleviate inflammation and pain
  • Hyaluronan injections to help cushion and lubricate the joint


What Regenerative Treatments are Available for Osteoarthritis?

Regenerative treatments use your body’s natural healing ability to restore tissues damaged by osteoarthritis. Dr. Hirsch offers two essential therapies:

1. Stem Cell Therapy

Dr. Hirsch uses adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), obtained from bone marrow that’s extracted from your hip, in your stem cell therapy. These stem cells can replicate indefinitely, dividing to create new tissues that replace old and damaged tissues.

When MSCs are injected into a joint affected by osteoarthritis, they:

  • Migrate to injured areas and attach to musculoskeletal tissues
  • Replicate to produce cartilage, bone, and tissues specific to the injured area
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Suppress harmful immune activities

2. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)

Platelets typically found in your blood are rich sources of growth factors, which promote healing by stimulating new tissue growth and diminishing inflammation. Dr. Hirsch produces PRP on-site by drawing a sample of your blood and separating the platelets to produce a concentrated amount of platelets in a small amount of plasma.

When PRP is injected into damaged joints, it can:

  • Reduce inflammation and pain
  • Produce new collagen and connective tissues
  • Promote healing and repair of tissues
  • Increase stem cell effectiveness

If you’d like to learn more about how regenerative medicine may heal your osteoarthritis, call Dr. Hirsch or use online booking to schedule a consultation.