Dr. Ashish Philip

Stem Cells

What is osteonecrosis how is stem cell useful in its treatment?

Osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH) is a debilitating disease it is associated with collapse of the femoral head, affecting the hip joint. it affects the younger age group which leaves them with no option but to only undergo big surgeries like corrective osteotomies or to undergo joint surgery. Thus, there has been an increased focus on early interventions for ONFH with the aim to preserve the native joint. Stem cell therapy is a promising treatmentand showing an increasing number of good results allowing these paitnts to put of surgeries for the future. Many clinical studieshave reported similar positive outcomes of stem cell therapy for the treatment of ONFH.

Role of stem cells

Adult stem cells can be harvested from many areas in the body. These include adipose tissue (fat), bone marrow and peripheral blood.  The mesenchymal stem cell is the most commonly harvested. These have the ability to turn into cells that form the musculoskeletal system such as tendons, ligaments, and articular cartilage. To obtain stem cells from the bone marrow, a needle is inserted into the iliac crest of the pelvic bone to extract the stem cells.


Currently, stem cell therapy is used to treat various degenerative conditions of the shoulder, knees, hips, and spine. Stem cells are also being used in the treatment of various soft tissue (muscle, ligaments and tendons) as well as bone-related injuries.

Who is a Good Candidate for a Stem Cell Procedure?

You may be a good candidate for stem cell therapy if you have been suffering from joint pain and want to improve your quality of life while avoiding complications related to invasive surgical procedures.

If your young and your only option is arthroplasty. you may still be a candidate for stem cell procedure.

Stem cell procedure

The procedure begins with your doctor extracting stem cells from your own bone marrow. Bone marrow is usually aspirated from your hip region. Your doctor will first clean and numb your hip area. A needle is then introduced into an area of your pelvic bone known as the iliac crest. Bone marrow is then aspirated using a special syringe and the sample obtained is sent to the laboratory. In the laboratory, the aspirate is spun in a machine for 10 to 15 minutes and a concentrated stem cell sample is separated.


Your doctor then cleans and numbs your affected area to be treated and then, under the guidance of special x-rays, injects the stem cells into the diseased region. The whole procedure usually takes less than one hour and you may return home on the same day of the procedure.