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Tulane knee pain study begins, looks for participants

Doctors at Tulane are testing if cells in your own body fat can be used to treat swelling and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis, and you might qualify.

NEW ORLEANS — A first of its kind free study is starting in New Orleans for knee pain.

Doctors at Tulane are testing if cells in your own body fat can be used to treat swelling and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis, and you might qualify.

It's one of the top quality of life problems, knee pain caused by osteoarthritis.

"Probably the most common musculoskeletal malady there is in the world right now. And that's what driving total knee replacements. It used to be done in 70-year-olds just 10 years ago, and now, I mean, people in their 40s and 50s are getting total knee replacements," said Dr. Jaime Garza, Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and  Director of Human Regenerative Cell Trials at the Tulane University School of Medicine and Professor at the Center for Sports Medicine.

For more than 10 years, Dr. Garza has been working on a Human Regenerative Cell study for osteoarthritis of the knee. Already, a few dozen people have joined the early clinical trials. 

"Decrease pain, a better range of motion, improve function and up to 87 percent improvement over their baseline, which is huge," he said about preliminary published data.

And now the next phase of the study is opening at Tulane. Here's how it works. Some of your fat will be taken from your abdomen area. It is then processed in a special device with enzymes added. In about an hour, those cells are injected into your knee.

"So essentially what the data's showing is that the inflammatory response, that's what causes your pain, is essentially being ratcheted back."

The FDA approved study is looking for healthy men and women 35 to 85 years old with knee inflammation. You will be compensated and the MRIs, treatment, screenings and blood work are included in the free study. Some patients will get the regenerative cells and some will get saline so doctors can compare results. So far in preliminary published data, 88 percent of patients showed improvement.

"It's really nice to a patient come to you, that hasn't played golf in a long time because he or she wasn't able to walk that far, and now they're resuming their normal daily activities, and they're happy again," Dr. Garza said. 

And that is a big difference since there is no cure now for arthritis.

To be in the study, your body mass index has to be between 22 to 37.

You can call the Louisiana Clinical Trial Center at Tulane at 504.988.0200

The study is being done by GID BIO click here: https://healingintelligently.com/

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