Osteoarthritis describes the progressive degeneration of a joint typically related to age, although this can occur prematurely related to trauma, surgery, or other causes. Treatment options include a variety of different injections or joint replacement. Steroid injections are the first line of therapy but when lasting relief is not achieved viscosupplementation (injection of a compound that lubricates the joint) may be beneficial short term. While traditionally the next step has been to replace the joint, regenerative medicine may be an option for some patients. Both PRP and Stem cell therapy in early studies have shown positive results in terms of pain. Regeneration of articular (joint surface) cartilage and reversal of the arthritic changes have been shown by others to be helpful in treating this condition. Total Joint replacement is still an option if regenerative medicine techniques fail. Joint replacement however has more acute post-op pain, more acute disability and lost work time (months vs. days), requires inpatient care, and has much higher risks, including infection, bleeding, and hardware related problems. Regenerative medicine is more likely to help joints which are less severely damaged.

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