A new treatment that involves injecting a protein solution derived from your own blood is offering hope to people suffering from debilitating knee pain due to osteoarthritis.
Carrothers Orthopaedics is now a registered clinic for the nSTRIDE APS (autologous protein solution) – the treatment made famous by Strictly’s Steve Backshall who was given it to treat the severe knee pain that threatened to put an end to his dancing days after he was diagnosed with osteoarthritis.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones in your joint becomes thin or damaged.
As more and more cartilage wears away, the bones may start to rub against each other resulting in worsening pain, stiffness and loss of function.
There is, as yet, no cure for the condition, which can have a significant impact on quality of life and may even affect your mood and self-esteem.
In the latter stages, joint replacement surgery can help you to regain function in your affected joint but with waiting lists for NHS treatment now at record levels and rising numbers of people living with debilitating symptoms, orthopaedic surgeons are encouraging patients to explore alternative treatments for managing pain.
What is nSTRIDE APS?
nSTRIDE APS is a novel therapy that uses ‘good proteins’ taken from the patient’s own body to treat pain and potentially slow the loss of cartilage in the knee joint. It has been shown to significantly reduce pain associated with knee osteoarthritis for up to two years, as well as improving mobility in the knee joint. Following a single injection, patients in a clinical outcomes study (Kon E, Engebretsen L, Peter Verdonk P, Nehrer S and Filardo G – presented in 2018 at the ICRS 14th World Congress) showed a 70% improvement in knee pain at two years after treatment.
How nSTRIDE APS works
When you have osteoarthritis in your knee, inflammatory cytokines (‘bad proteins’ IL-1 and TNF) attack the cartilage and cause it to degenerate. They outnumber the anti-inflammatory cytokines (‘good proteins’ IL-1ra, sIL-1R, sTN). A treatment with nSTRIDE APS introduces high levels of ‘good proteins’ that are designed to block the bad proteins and counter their effects. Unlike traditional therapies, an nSTRIDE APS treatment both decreases pain and slows cartilage degeneration because the injection also contains anabolic (building) growth factors (IGF-1 and TGF-1) which are beneficial for cartilage health.
Who is the treatment suitable for?
nSTRIDE APS is recommended for patients with mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis. If you are experiencing severe pain and loss of mobility, knee replacement surgery may be a more appropriate option, however your surgeon will discuss your individual circumstances with you and advise you.
What to expect
nSTRIDE APS is administered as a single injection by your orthopaedic surgeon. A small amount of your own blood (60mls) is processed to concentrate the white blood cells, platelets and plasma proteins into a small amount of plasma. This is then injected directly into your knee joint.
You will usually only require one injection and you will normally start to experience a decrease in pain within one to two weeks after treatment. This can last up to two years. A significant reduction in pain may take up to eight weeks and can occur gradually or, in some cases, suddenly.
On the day of your injection and for a few days afterwards you may experience mild swelling of the joint, bruising and localised pain where the blood was taken and the injection was administered. You can take paracetamol if required but you should avoid anti-inflammatories.
We recommend avoiding doing anything strenuous for 14 days after your injection. For the first four or five days, limit all activity – including walking – to avoid developing inflammation in the knee joint.
nSTRIDE APS is a safe and effective way to reduce pain and can help you to get back to doing many of the things you love. For details of clinics offering this revolutionary treatment visit: Find a Clinic – nStride (zimmerbiomet.com) If you would like to discuss your condition and whether nSTRIDE APS may be a suitable treatment for you please contact us.
Talk to an orthopaedic consultant | Cambridge
Please be reassured that despite the ongoing UK Covid-19 pandemic, orthopaedic treatments are now again being routinely offered to patients. Having the vaccine does not mean that your treatment won’t go ahead. However, in some circumstances, such as for planned surgery, it is advisable to delay it by a couple of weeks to ensure your body responds in the optimum way to the vaccine. If in doubt, please talk to your orthopaedic consultant or contact us for more guidance to help get your orthopaedic treatment back on track.
Our consultation fees are clearly presented here.
For your convenience, we offer appointments at both Nuffield Hospital Cambridge and Spire Cambridge Lea Hospital.