There is increasing interest regarding the use of stem cells and other biologics in hip preservation surgery to enhance tissue (specifically cartilage) recovery and repair.
There are many different new techniques available, although many as yet have not been shown to have conclusive long-term benefit. One reason for this is that these are very new techniques and therefore long-term data on its efficacy is not available.
The range of stem cell therapies for cartilage defects ranges from microfracture, (which has been used for many years now and does have reasonable results), to bone marrow stem cell soaked collagen patch grafting (with or without the use of fibrin adhesives). All of these techniques are designed for use in treating small, defined cartilage defects in joints that do not have generalised arthritis or degenerative change. The short-term results in this scenario are quite good.
However, with the increasing burden of younger patients with hip problems, the demand for stem cells as an adjunct to joint preserving surgery is going up. The problem is that stem cell therapies are increasingly being used to try and treat generalised arthritis, as a last ditch attempt to avoid a hip replacement. Unfortunately, the results in this scenario are generally poor.
Mr Stafford has a range of options available, including those described above. However, be aware that, with the exception of microfracture, these techniques attract a premium, which currently will not be covered by your insurance.