Takeaways from Dr. Oskouei’s Stem Cell Treatment Chat

Stem Cell TreatmentThank you for attending the live chat on Stem Cell Treatment for Osteoarthritis on Tuesday, Aug. 12. We had a great discussion, so thank you to all who participated and asked questions. We were thrilled with the number of people who were able to register and participate in the chat. Check out the chat transcript for a full list of questions and answers!

The response was so great that we had a several questions we were not able to answer during the chat, so we will answer them below for your reference. The questions have been broken into sections based on topic:

Surgical vs. Non-Surgical Stem Cell Treatment

  • How exactly do both stem cell treatments work?

Shervin Oskouei, MDDr. Oskouei:

When implanted surgically, they recruit surrounding cartilage cellsand begin differentiation into mature cartilage.

  • Can you explain the differences in “stem cell implantation surgery” and “stem cell injections?

Shervin Oskouei, MDDr. Oskouei:

Injections alleviate pain and symptoms; whereas,  surgical implantation surgery is a way to actually grow cartilage in areas where the cartilage is lacking.

  • What determines whether you get the surgical or nonsurgical procedure?

Shervin Oskouei, MDDr. Oskouei:

It depends on patient preference, but also on the amount of damage. If the damage is severe, the patient may not be a candidate for surgical implantation. An MRI is useful in determining who is a good candidate.

  • Is the surgical procedure preferable to the injection for a knee?

Shervin Oskouei, MDDr. Oskouei:

It depends on patient preference, but also on the amount of damage.

  • For the surgical solution, are a patient’s own stem cells used?

Shervin Oskouei, MDDr. Oskouei:

Yes, we use the patient’s own stem cells.



  • How long does it take to notice a difference/improvement in symptoms and pain?

Shervin Oskouei, MDDr. Oskouei:

It typically takes about six weeks to notice a difference in pain.

  • Do you recommend PT after the procedure?

Shervin Oskouei, MDDr. Oskouei:

Yes, I recommend physical therapy, but it should not be very aggressive.

  • Will the stem cells migrate to other parts of the body, helping more than just the targeted joint?

Shervin Oskouei, MDDr. Oskouei:

No, the stem cells stay in the targeted joint.

  • Do you have any statistics on how long a time period patients typically experience pain relief after receiving the injections treatment?

Shervin Oskouei, MDDr. Oskouei:

Patients typically experience pain relief for about four to six months.

  • Does the osteoarthritis then stop progressing in that area or will it eventually take over again?

Shervin Oskouei, MDDr. Oskouei:

In the case of surgical implantation, osteoarthritis is stopped and often reversed.

  • After the injection, how long before someone could resume walking 1-2 miles per day if they had been doing so before the treatment?

Shervin Oskouei, MDDr. Oskouei:

I would suggest waiting about six weeks.



  • Is stem cell therapy an option for people whose osteoarthritis is advanced? If not, what is the alternative?

Shervin Oskouei, MDDr. Oskouei:

It depends on the severity and grade of cartilage damage. Alternatives include joint replacement surgery.

  • Do you expect the procedure to improve in the future so those of us with late osteoarthritis might avoid surgery?

Shervin Oskouei, MDDr. Oskouei:

That is possible now!

  • If the knee is bone on bone, would this still be a candidate?

Shervin Oskouei, MDDr. Oskouei:

It depends on the amount of cartilage loss, not just the depth of cartilage loss. In other words, if the patient has a subtotal area of cartilage loss, even if its bone on bone, then they would be a candidate. If the whole joint surface is devoid of cartilage, then they are likely not the best surgical candidate.

  • In cases where the condition is severe with pronounced bowing of the leg is this procedure recommended? Also will the bowing be corrected?

Shervin Oskouei, MDDr. Oskouei:

No, with severe deformity, reconstructive surgery is generally recommended.  However, some slight varus (bowing) deformity is acceptable for stem cell treatment.

  • How does one begin the process for determining if the procedure is recommended?  Do you see patients for assessment or is that done by someone else?

Shervin Oskouei, MDDr. Oskouei:

I see them. I would love to see an X-ray and MRI of your affected joint. We can order it or you can order it and send it in for us to evaluate it.

  • How do you get evaluated for this procedure?

Shervin Oskouei, MDDr. Oskouei:

Call 404-778-6363 to schedule an appointment.

  • I am 70, and have had both knees and my right hip replaced. Am I too old to have the procedure done on my left hip?

Shervin Oskouei, MDDr. Oskouei:

No, not at all. We would love to see your MRI to see if you’re a candidate.

  • Is this something a 60 year old man should be looking into?

Shervin Oskouei, MDDr. Oskouei:


Shervin Oskouei, MDDr. Oskouei:

Age isn’t as much of a factor as the amount of cartilage loss and deformity. 80 year old patients have benefited from this procedure in the past.


Traveling for Treatment

  • For out of town patients, how long should we plan to be in Atlanta for the procedure? 

Shervin Oskouei, MDDr. Oskouei:

Two days.

  • For patients from overseas can the PRP injection be administered on same day as stem cell injection? 

Shervin Oskouei, MDDr. Oskouei:


  • If we do not live close, can we mail a copy of the MRI i to see if we are a candidate? 

Shervin Oskouei, MDDr. Oskouei:

Yes! That’s ideal.

About Dr. Oskouei

Shervin Oskouei, MDShervin V. Oskouei, MD, assistant professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Emory University, is an expert in the treatment of musculoskeletal (extremity) tumors, total hip and total knee replacements and revisions. Dr. Oskouei started practicing at Emory in 2004. Dr. Oskouei is board-certified and fellowship trained in orthopaedic surgery. Combining his experience and interests with the state-of-the-art facilities of Emory University and the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University allows Dr. Oskouei to treat patients with the latest modalities using a multi-disciplinary approach.

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  • Sharon M.

    I have placed my trust and my life in Dr. Oskouei’s hands several times. Have never met a more caring, dedicated and talented doctor and would highly recommend him to anyone that has any concerns.

  • Andrea M.

    Very illuminating! Thank you for compiling this list of key takeaways. Brilliant.

  • Amanda M.

    I have osteoarthritis in my right shoulder. [Information removed for patient privacy] The problem is bone on bone. May I send this to you for evaluation? If so, please send your address via email. Thank you.

    • Hi Amanda, thanks for your message. Unfortunately, we cannot speak to your condition without seeing you in person, but someone from our team would be happy to contact you. If you would like to make an appointment with one of our orthopedic physicians who specialize in shoulder care, please either fill out our appointment request form and a member of our team will follow-up with you, or call 404-778-7777 at your convenience.

  • Maureen

    My friend got her spine like folded or stretched (on the neck part)…her sight got black for a second then came back to normal…now she is experiencing back pain but not that severe. Pain come when she breathes and when she runs…does it do something about her spine or just in the muscles?

    • Hi Maureen, thanks for your message. Unfortunately, we cannot speak to your friend’s condition without seeing her in person. If she would like to make an appointment with one of our spine specialists, she can either fill out our appointment request form, or call 404-778-7777 at her convenience. Thanks!