Stem cell therapy has gained recognition as a remarkable solution for a range of conditions, including skin aging and spinal repair. Animal studies have demonstrated the potential of stem cell treatments in addressing various diseases like heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and muscular dystrophy.
Furthermore, stem cell therapy holds promise in knee pain treatment. This condition occurs when the cartilage on the ends of bones begins to deteriorate and erode. As the protective covering diminishes, the bones start to rub against each other, resulting in pain, swelling, stiffness, and ultimately, loss of mobility and function.
Many patients effectively manage their symptoms through exercise, weight loss, medical interventions, and lifestyle adjustments. In cases of severe symptoms, total knee replacement surgery is considered. However, stem cell therapy can serve as a viable alternative to surgery in such instances.
Read this blog to understand the significance of stem cells and how it effectively helps in knee pain treatment.
What is a stem cell?
The bone marrow continuously produces stem cells within the human body. A stem cell is a primitive cell that has not yet matured into a specific type of cell, such as a skin cell, muscle cell, or nerve cell. The body utilizes different types of stem cells for different functions.
What is stem cell therapy?
Stem cell therapy employs stem cells and growth factors to alleviate pain caused by orthopaedic conditions. By facilitating the regeneration of impaired tissues, these stem cells hold the potential for providing relief to individuals experiencing knee discomfort.
How does stem cell therapy help with knee pain treatment?
Stem cell therapy is an advanced knee pain treatment that provides optimism for people who have osteoarthritis. This procedure, which does not require any incisions, entails the direct injection of stem cells into the affected knee joint. Its purpose is to encourage the restoration of damaged cartilage, alleviate inflammation, and stimulate the production of growth factors that facilitate tissue healing.
Stem cell therapy utilizes the natural healing powers of the body to provide a less invasive option in comparison to traditional knee replacement surgery. This innovative approach improves joint function and diminishes pain without the need for extensive surgical procedures or lengthy recovery periods. Additionally, it has the potential to postpone or even prevent the necessity of knee replacement surgery.
What are the steps involved in stem cell therapy?
Stem cell therapy typically involves the following steps:
- Extracting a small blood sample, usually from the arm
- The concentration of the stem cells obtained
- Administering the concentrated stem cells back into the knee
Before commencing treatment, your doctor will always inform you about the origin of the stem cells and will not administer any substances without your consent.
What are the potential benefits and drawbacks involved in stem cell therapy?
Stem cell therapy remains an emerging field in medicine, with much still to be discovered about its applications, advantages, and drawbacks. The effectiveness of this stem cell therapy in promoting cartilage regeneration or healing spinal cord injuries has yet to be definitively determined. Nevertheless, medical professionals have reported that many patients find stem cell treatment beneficial for alleviating knee pain, even if it does not reverse the loss of bone or cartilage.
Some potential benefits of this knee pain treatment may include:
- Reduced pain resulting from osteoarthritis or past injuries
- Decreased joint stiffness
- Decreased reliance on pain medications
- Improved mobility
The procedure for this knee pain treatment is noninvasive. While some individuals may experience temporary increased pain and swelling after undergoing the procedure, the vast majority of people who receive stem cell injections do not encounter any adverse side effects. Moreover, the stem cells used in the treatment are derived from the patient’s own body, which theoretically minimizes the risk of serious side effects. Before receiving any injections, it is essential for your doctor to thoroughly discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this treatment with you. Certain risk factors may render some patients ineligible for stem cell therapy.
Is stem cell therapy effective?
Stem cell therapy is not a magical cure for every disease or condition, although it may be effective in reducing pain. Currently, as of 2020, the FDA has only approved stem cell treatment for a limited number of diseases such as certain cancers and blood disorders. However, it is permitted to use a patient’s own stem cells for orthopaedic purposes, such as treating knee injuries or osteoarthritis.
Many patients have found relief from pain and stiffness through stem cell treatment, and it can be considered an alternative to knee replacement surgery for some individuals. A 2016 research study has shown that injections of stem cells, specifically bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC), are safe and dependable. These injections have been found to decrease knee pain by up to 75%, as supported by the 2018 follow-up study. It is believed that the injected stem cells may help reduce inflammation, which contributes to this pain relief.
One significant advantage of these stem cells is their high capacity for proliferation, indicating their ability to multiply rapidly. This characteristic could potentially result in more effective regeneration of cartilage.
Research utilizing mesenchymal stem cells for treating knee osteoarthritis has yielded encouraging results, including better pain management, enhanced joint functionality, and improved cartilage quality. Moreover, these cells have demonstrated remarkable anti-inflammatory capabilities, suggesting the potential to decrease inflammation in the affected knee joint.
Stem cell therapy is a promising and innovative treatment for people with osteoarthritis in their knees. This knee pain treatment approach taps into the body’s natural healing abilities to repair damaged cartilage and restore joint function. It offers a less invasive alternative to traditional knee replacement surgery.
By exploring the available knee pain treatment options, you can make informed healthcare decisions and work towards improved joint function and overall well-being.