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Stem cells being used to treat arthritis in Arkansas

It sounds like voodoo science, but surprisingly, regenerative medicine isn't all that new. (KATV){ }

It sounds like voodoo science, but surprisingly, regenerative medicine isn't all that new.

"Regenerative medicine has been around a long time in the form of bone marrow transplant, but only more recently has it been used for ortho and pain applications," explained Dr, Mark Miedema of OrthoArkansas.

Ron George, 72, is a patient of Dr. Miedema.

"I can't even do a 3/4 knee bend right now," said George.

"By the time someone is 85, about one in two people have doctor diagnosed knee arthritis. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the U.S., back pain being the second leading cause of disability," said Dr. Miedema.

Until now, the best option was to replace the knee or just try to treat the pain, but with regenerative medicine, the goal is to reverse the problem. Ron George could hardley believe how painless the procedure was, especially compared to his other option of a knee replacement.

"Unlike a steroid injection that can really work for three to six months, the hope with this is that if it regenerates the tissue and helps the bodies own healing process to take place, you only need one of these injections," said Dr. Miedema.

George's cells were taken from a donated umbilical cord. In a month, he hopes to find out his knee isn't just feeling better but actually regenerating

"I want to go back playing golf. I want to ride my bicycle, I want to walk more, and this gave me the opportunity," said George.

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