More than 54 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee, a chronic condition causing joint pain, stiffness and swelling that can hinder work and leisure activities.
Jeffrey Farricielli, M.D., ABPMR, a regenerative medicine specialist who co-owns The Center for Regenerative Medicine along with his wife, Ella Farricielli, M.D., provides a variety of nonsurgical treatment options for people seeking relief from moderate arthritic knee pain.
“In the past, the only nonsurgical options were pain medication or the administration of steroid injection into the knees. But pain medicine and steroids carry many unwanted side effects,” said Dr. Farricielli. “In some cases, they are quite helpful, but they are not for everyone.”
Dr. Farricielli offers three additional options to treat knee arthritis pain at his Mount Pleasant clinic. The most popular is called viscosupplementation. This FDA-approved therapy consists of a series of precision-guided knee joint injections of a viscosupplement.
The “visco” cushioning gel is an all-natural replacement for the depleted synovial fluid in a patient’s knee joint and acts as a lubricant and shock absorber.
Dr. Farricielli commented, “According to studies, clinicians who blindly administer viscosupplement injections actually miss the joint area completely 30% of the time. We use advanced laser-guided fluoroscopic digital imaging so that we know we’re getting the “visco” gel in the joint every single time.”
Visco treatments are covered by insurance and Medicare for those who qualify.
Dr. Farricielli also provides platelet-rich plasma treatments.
“Platelets in your blood contain growth factors, and many scientists and physicians believe that injecting PRP growth factors from your own blood into an injured area will help tissues repair themselves by causing new cells to form,” he explained. “In this way, PRP could help reverse existing tissue damage. Although PRP procedures are considered experimental presently, many studies are underway regarding its efficacy. A recent large study published in Scientific Reports Journal this year showed PRP provides significant potential for joint cartilage protection, reduction in pain and increase in function in knee osteoarthritis.”
PRP treatments, which benefit patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis knee pain, are not currently covered by insurance.
Another treatment option Dr. Farricielli uses for knee arthritis is called an adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cell graft.
“Basically, we take fat from a person’s ‘extra area,’” he explained. “The cells are then processed without the use of enzymes or additives to concentrate the mesenchymal stem cells. The adipose graft can serve as a tissue filler in defects such as a torn meniscus and cartilage lesion, and the mesenchymal stem cells within the graft are thought to enhance the natural healing potential of the adipose graft.”
Candidates for nonsurgical arthritic knee treatment
Prospective patients can visit The Center for Regenerative Medicine for an initial consultation to determine their eligibility for nonsurgical arthritic knee pain procedures.
Dr. Farricielli’s goal at The Center for Regenerative Medicine is to help his patients with knee osteoarthritis by reducing pain, increasing mobility, delaying surgery and decreasing the use of pain medication.
For more information, visit www.regenmedcharleston.com or call 843-410-2245.