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What is Osteoarthritis and Symptoms of Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes the breakdown of cartilage and sub-chondral bone in joints. This leads to bones rubbing together, causing pain, swelling, and limited mobility. The disease also triggers an inflammatory process that further damages the cartilage. As it worsens, bones may break down and develop growths called spurs. In severe cases, the cartilage wears away completely, leading to bone-on-bone contact and additional pain. Osteoarthritis commonly affects the knee, hip, back, and small joints in the hands and feet, and can result from repetitive movements or injuries to joints. Symptoms include persistent joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, locking, loss of motion, and swelling.

Why is osteoarthritis difficult to manage?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a prevalent type of arthritis, affecting over 1.6 million individuals in Australia. This condition is more prevalent among women and its incidence rises with age. The major risk factors for osteoarthritis include obesity, physical inactivity, joint trauma and injury, repetitive joint use, and misalignment. The symptoms of osteoarthritis can lead to decreased mobility and reduced quality of life for sufferers.

Lifestyle modifications, including exercise and weight loss, combined with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are typically the first line of treatment for managing symptoms of OA. Although glucocorticoids may provide significant relief, they cannot be used long-term. Topical capsaicin and injected hyaluronic acid do not demonstrate significant benefits, and opioid analgesics carry unacceptable risks.

Alternative therapies, such as glucosamine, vitamins, fish oil, and chondroitin sulfate, have not demonstrated any proven utility in the treatment of osteoarthritis.

svCell therapy to treat osteoarthritis

svCell treatment is a cell therapy technology that utilizes adipose-derived stromal vascular fraction (SVF) to treat osteoarthritis and may be offered under medical supervision as an outpatient procedure within an accredited day hospital setting. This form of cell therapy technology is a complementary treatment option for osteoarthritis and has the potential to activate the body’s self-healing ability and generate anti-inflammatory responses that may alleviate osteoarthritis pain, enhance mobility, and encourage cartilage restoration.

The objective of svCell therapy for osteoarthritis is to fill the gap between standard pain management options and joint replacement surgery.

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Knee Replacement vs svCell Therapy

In some cases, osteoarthritis treatment may involve surgery (hip joint or knee replacement) to replace the joints. Cell therapy technology may provide an alternative approach for certain patients.

Parameter Knee Replacement svCell Therapy
Impact on bones

Inevitable loss of bone: Tibia,

Femur & Patella

Injection only - no bone loss
Mechanism Prosthesis Natural regenerative cells
Invasion Highly invasive Minimally invasive
Anesthesia General/Spinal Local
Recovery Extended recovery Easier & quicker
Treatment type Artificial implant Autologous cell
Nature of intervention Mechanical Biological

1. Gr- IV OA

2. Not suitable forRA Patients

3. All Gr. of OA**

4. Suitable for RA also

Revision surgery Difficult with poor outcome Easy
Need for Revision Surgery Generally required after 10-15 years * Need may not be there*
Effect on lifestyle Numerous restrictions Substantial improvement
Hospitalization Minimum stay of 4-5 days Out patient
Implant Rejection Possibility No rejection (as autologous cells used)
Effect on cartilage regeneration It doesn’t treat the underlying cause (i.e. cartilage degeneration) It treats underlying cause by aiding cartilage regeneration and immunomodulation of inflammation
Effect of body weight on outcome Poor result in case of obese patients Effective for all body weights
Age criteria Usually avoided for younger patients Suitable for all age groups
Fitness for surgery

Patients must have good

fitness to undergo this surgery

It is not a major limiting factor

svCell therapy potential benefits

svCell therapy, is an Australian patented biotechnology process, that has been used as a complementary approach to treat osteoarthritis in Australia and the United States for many years.

The potential benefits of using svCell therapy in the clinical treatment of osteoarthritis in Australia include:

as the svCell ultrasonic cavitation process uses a person’s own cells, there is a reduced risk of infection or disease transmission;

as the svCell concentration process does not culture cells, there is no risk of rejection or allergic reaction.

svCell therapy has the potential for therapeutic advantage as it contains a mix of regenerative cells, with some scientific research suggesting that this mixed cell population may provide superior treatment.

How does the svCell work to Treat Osteoarthritis?

svCell is an adipose-derived stromal vascular fraction containing a multipotent heterogeneous mix of regenerative cells that can help reduce inflammation, promote healing mechanisms, and improve tissue repair.

svCell therapy for osteoarthritis has the potential to promote self-healing through the following mechanisms:

  1. Localization of inflammation and injury
  2. Anti-inflammatory and immune-modulatory responses (to reduce pain)
  3. Growth factor secretions promote healing
  4. Stimulating the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis)
  5. Promoting chondroprotective effects to delay cartilage degradation (to modify disease progression)
  6. Preserving the joint’s existing cells (anti-apoptosis factors)
  7. Repairing the damaged cartilage layer as well as the bone, tendons, and ligaments
  8. Reduced reliance on anti-inflammatory medications

svCell therapy aims to reduce joint pain and inflammation while maintaining – and in some cases, improving – joint function and reducing stiffness, which may postpone or avoid joint replacement surgery in the future.

svCell therapy effectiveness in the treatment of osteoarthritis.

Since 2012, svCell therapy has been used to treat patients suffering from osteoarthritis, with patient feedback, and published results consistent with scientific reports and peer reviewed journals and studies on stromal vascular fraction.

Some patients in these studies report improvements in pain, stiffness, and joint physical functioning.

Michalek et al [1] conducted the largest study of svCell for grades 2 – 4 degenerative osteoarthritis, enrolling 1,128 patients and treating 1,856 joints (mainly knee and hip joints). To evaluate the clinical effect and measure patients’ pain, symptoms, and quality of life, a Clinical Score (a modified Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score [KOOS]) was used.

Michalek et al reported:

svCell therapy was not associated with any serious side effects, systemic infection, or disease.
Patients gradually improved over the course of 3 to 12 months after treatment, with the majority reporting reduced pain, improved mobility, and improved quality of life. Notably, at 12 months, 63 percent of patients had improved their Clinical Score by at least 75 percent.
There was also a significant decrease in painkillers.

Regeneration of Cartilage
In both animal and human studies, cartilage regeneration has been observed. The MRIs shown below were taken after svCell treatment and show regeneration in chondral defects of the knee.

Coronal MRI images of the knee. The black area beneath the top knee bone indicates the depth of the cartilage. By week 16, there is a significant increase in regenerated tissue.

It is important to note that not all patients will respond to treatment, with svCell studies indicating that approximately 93 percent of osteoarthritis patients will respond and less than 7% will not.

When svCell or ADSCS are co-cultured with chondrocytes, an important study both in vitro and in vivo demonstrates the superiority of svCell over cultured ADSCs in facilitating cartilage formation. When svCell is added to chondrocytes, the staining of Alacian blue (indicating high glycosaminoglycan) and Collagen II (Coll II) is more intense than when cultured stem cells (ASC’s).

Is the svCell therapy safe?

Autologous adipose-derived svCell therapy has a reduced risk of adverse reactions or serious side effects.

As the treatment is autologous, with the svCell regenerative cells derived from the patient’s own body, there is a lower risk of infection or disease transmission. Using the patient’s own, uncultured cells reduces potential risks and complications as associated with rejection and allergic reactions.

The ultrasonic cavitation concentration process does not use any enzymes or animal products.. Within a relatively short period of time, potentially within 4 hours, the patient’s cells are concentrated and injected. As a result, there is a reduced chance of infection, disease transmission, bacterial contamination, or allergic reaction.

Over the last 12 years, there has been a body of evidence in peer-reviewed scientific literature supporting the safety of svCell in the treatment of osteoarthritis for knee and hip disease.

What is involved in a svCell therapy procedure?

The svCell therapy procedure involves removing adipose (fat) tissue from the patient’s abdomen, concentrating a mixture of cells, and then re-injecting the cell concentration into the patient’s painful joint(s).

In Australia svCell therapy procedures must be conducted within an accredited hospital setting under medical supervision with patient’s admitted to the hospital as a day surgery patient. The procedure is usually completed within 4 hours after which the patient may go home.


Patients taking Aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications (such as Voltaren and Mobic), corticosteroids, or herbal medications (e.g., Krill oil, fish oil, Vitamin E, and Ginkho Biloba) are advised that these must be discontinued at least 10 days before the procedure, according to standard hospital admission instructions. Those patients taking aspirin (Cartia, etc.), clopidogrel (Plavix or Iscover), warfarin, or anticoagulants for a heart condition or stroke prevention, would be provided specific information by their own doctor on when to stop and restart these medications.

Removal of adipose tissue

Patients receive oral sedation, and local anesthetic, and may be prescribed an antibiotic to reduce the risk of infection and are expected to be comfortable, and relatively pain-free.

A syringe or miniliposuction method is used to extract 60-300ml of adipose (fat) tissue from the patient’s abdomen, as that is all that is required. The amount of fat consumed will be determined by the number of joints to be treated. The treating doctor will explain the method of fat extraction to be used prior to the procedure. Because the procedure is minimally invasive, no stitches are usually needed.

Collect regenerative cells

Following adipose tissue removal, a sterile laboratory technician immediately performs the svCell ultrasonic cavitation process to concentrate the patient’s regenerative cells. A flow cytometer is used to count cells and viability and determine the best dosage for the injection of svCell concentrate.


The injection site is prepared in advance. A Doctor will then inject the svCells into the joint(s).

Where necessary, ultrasound guidance can be used to guide needle placement.

After the injection, patients are monitored for 1 hour before being released to go home.

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