Stem Cell Therapy for Osteoarthritis


Stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis has been shown to induce profound healing activity. Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) are able to turn into cartilage, bone, muscle, tendon, ligaments, or fat, depending on the type of tissue that surrounds them. As well as healing damaged tissues, stem cells have the unique ability to modulate the immune system in order to shut off pathological responses while preserving the ability to fight off disease.

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The Condition

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease, is a group of mechanical abnormalities involving degradation of joints, including articular cartilage and subchondral bone. 

Symptoms may include joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, locking, and sometimes an effusion. When bone surfaces become less well protected by cartilage, bone may be exposed and damaged.

As a result of decreased movement secondary to pain, regional muscles may atrophy, and ligaments may become more lax.

The Effectiveness of Stem Cells

Can stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis help to treat and alleviate symptoms?

Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) are able to turn into cartilage, bone, muscle, tendon, ligaments, or fat, depending on the type of tissue that surrounds them. Stem cell therapy has been demonstrated to induce profound healing activity with various forms of arthritis. As well as healing damaged tissues, stem cells have the unique ability to modulate the immune system so as to shut off pathological responses while preserving the ability to fight off disease.

Through administration of umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells, we have observed improvements in osteoarthritis patients treated at our facilities.

The Advantages

What are the advantages of treating osteoarthritis with allogeneic umbilical cord tissue-derived stem cells?

  1. The stem cells with the best anti-inflammatory activity, immune modulating capacity, and ability to stimulate regeneration, can be screened and selected.

  2. Allogeneic stem cells can be administered multiple times over the course of days in uniform dosages that contain high cell counts.

  3. No need to collect stem cells from the patient’s hip bone or fat under anesthesia, which, especially for small children and their parents, can be an unpleasant ordeal.

  4. There is a growing body of evidence showing that umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are more robust than MSCs from other sources.

  5. No need to administer chemotherapy drugs like Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF or GCSF) to stimulate the bone marrow to produce granulocytes and stem cells and release them into the bloodstream.
Unleash The Power. Feel The Difference.

Stemwell Osteoarthritis Procedure

Stemwell uses cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells ethically sourced from full-term human umbilical cords (We do not utilize cells from embryos). We then administer more than 300 million cells that are all thoroughly tested for viability before treatment. These cells are NOT a blood product; therefore, it is extremely safe and does not require HLA or phenotypic matching.


Find out if you qualify for our mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) infusion by completing our secure, HIPAA-compliant qualification form

First Step

The patient undergoes an initial evaluation and blood work by Stemwell’s doctor.

Second Step

Endovenous detox therapy applied to patient 


Third Step

Localized Intrathecal Stem cell injections in trigger pain points

Fourth Step

Hyperbaric Chamber therapy – Hyperbaric oxygen reduces inflammation, oxygenates injured muscle, and regenerates skeletal muscle via macrophage and satellite cell activation.

Fifth Step

Photobiomodulation (PBM Therapy) –  the application of red and near infra-red light over injuries or lesions to improve wound and soft tissue healing, reduce inflammation and give relief for both acute and chronic pain.

*Each Protocol is customized to the patient depending their medical and surgical history 

This protocol information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, is for general information purposes only.

Stem Cells Rejection

Will the patient reject this type of stem cell?​

The body’s immune system is unable to recognize umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as foreign and, therefore, they are not rejected. MSCs have been administered thousands of times by our doctors and there has never been a single instance of rejection (graft vs. host disease).  Indeed, allogeneic (not the patient’s own) MSCs are approved to treat graft vs. host disease in Canada and New Zealand.

In stem cell therapy for hip osteoarthritis and other parts of the body, umbilical cord-derived MSCs also proliferate and differentiate more efficiently than “older” cells, such as those found in the fat. They are, therefore, considered to be more “potent”.

Stem Cells Administration

How is stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis administered?

The stem cells are administered by a licensed physician into the affected joint(s) (intra-articular injection) and intravenously (IV). In certain circumstances, stem cells may also be administered intrathecally and/or intramuscularly. Extra intra-articular injections for multiple joints can be arranged as medical requirements dictate.


Frequently asked questions around using stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis

Can’t find an answer? Please contact us.

We are happy to help. 

Success rates can vary hugely depending on your age, your specific condition and overall health, and your response to treatment. Stem cell therapy is also a relatively new and quickly evolving area of research meaning more studies are needed to establish clear success and effectiveness rates.

So far, research shows that stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for osteoarthritis1. By reducing inflammation and orchestrating the regeneration of joint tissues, stem cells can help to stimulate the body’s natural healing processes and lead to improved outcomes for people with osteoarthritis. At Stemwell, we have also observed improved symptoms in many of our osteoarthritis patients. However, it’s important to remember that like with any medical procedure, the success of stem cell therapy is not guaranteed and outcomes depend on many personal factors.

1 Hwang JJ, Rim YA, Nam Y, Ju JH. (2021). Recent Developments in Clinical Applications of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis. Front Immunol. 12:631291. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.631291.

While stem cell therapy may be able to offer significant improvements in pain relief, joint function, and quality of life for some patients, it is unlikely to act as a ‘cure’. The treatments aim to regenerate damaged cartilage, reduce inflammation, and slow down the degenerative progression of osteoarthritis. The longevity of these effects can vary widely amongst individuals and depend on factors such as the severity of the disease.

Stem cell therapy is still a relatively new branch of treatment and more research is needed to establish whether it could be a long-term solution for osteoarthritis.

Stem cells work to improve osteoarthritis through several mechanisms: 

  • Tissue regeneration: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), the type we use for osteoarthritis treatment, have the potential to differentiate into cartilage (chondrocytes) and bone cells, which can help repair damaged cartilage and underlying bone in the affected joint. These cells then divide exponentially, helping to stimulate the body’s natural healing process. 
  • Reduce inflammation: Stem cells can release factors that reduce inflammation within the joint, helping to alleviate pain and slow down the degenerative processes that occur in osteoarthritis. 
  • Immunomodulation: Stem cells can modulate the immune response, reducing chronic inflammation that contributes to the progression of osteoarthritis, while also preserving the ability to fight off disease. 

Stem cell therapy generally isn’t painful for most people. You might experience temporary discomfort and normal inflammatory processes during the treatment, but this shouldn’t last long and these responses can be controlled.

By repairing damaged joint tissues, improving joint functioning, decreasing pain, and potentially delaying the progression of osteoarthritis, stem cell therapy may, in some cases, postpone or even negate the need for joint replacement surgery. However, the effectiveness of stem cell therapy depends on several individual factors, such as the severity of osteoarthritis, the joints impacted, and how the body responds to therapy.

Many research studies and our experiences at Stemwell show that the risks associated with mesenchymal stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis are low. However, the long-term efficacy and safety of stem cell therapy are still being studied2. Each body reacts differently to treatments, so an adverse effect cannot be ruled out. It’s crucial for patients to discuss the potential risks and benefits with their healthcare provider and consider the treatment’s experimental nature when making decisions.

Read more about the pros and cons of stem cell therapy.

2 Freitag J, Bates D, Boyd R, et al. (2016). Mesenchymal stem cell therapy in the treatment of osteoarthritis: reparative pathways, safety and efficacy – a review. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 17:230.

The cost of stem cell therapy depends on a variety of individual factors. During a consultation with our highly skilled team at Stemwell, we will be able to identify a bespoke treatment plan to meet your needs, helping to give an indication of overall costs. Schedule a free consultation today.