Q. What about stem cells for bone fractures?
A. Stem cells in bone fractures already have an important role in orthopedics. Non-unions can finally heal if concentrated bone marrow stem cells are injected directly into the fracture site and stabilized with another period of immobilization. Also well established is the role of concentrated bone marrow injections into bones that have suffered avascular necrosis or osteonecrosis, otherwise known as death of the bone. AVN of the hip, knee and ankle are areas where we are seeing a successful alternative to surgical drilling to try to re-establish blood flow and healing in the dying bone. Patients with Stage 1 and 2 AVN in the hip can expect about a 90% success rates with this stem cell procedure and patients with grade 3 AVN of the hip, 70-80% success range while grade 4 AVN is only 60 plus % successful. (Successful AVN treatment outcomes in the orthopedic literature are defined as preventing an early total joint replacement.)