There have been amazing advances in the use of stem cells in orthopedic medicine in the last decade. With these advances come new treatments that involve injections of stem cells into the knee joint to slow deterioration, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain. Stem cell therapy helps knees in a number of ways, particularly when knee problems are related to osteoarthritis.
What Knee Conditions are Treated with Stem Cells?
The primary knee condition that is treated with stem cells is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis can develop as you age, or it can be the result of a knee injury. In either case, it refers to the degeneration of the cartilage of the joint. Most of the research done on stem cell therapy for knees has focused on this degeneration. However, other knee conditions such as knee injuries may also be treated with stem cell therapy. Many patients who undergo stem cell therapy are able to put off or completely prevent knee replacement surgery.
How It Works
Stem cells are easily harvested from your own bone marrow or fat. These stem cells are then injected into the joint. Researchers believe that stem cells help knees in a number of ways. First, the stem cells often develop into essential cartilage cells, stopping or even reversing the damage done by the degeneration. Second, stem cells greatly reduce inflammation that can cause pain and limited mobility. Finally, the stem cells release proteins called cytokines that have been proven to slow degeneration of the cartilage and reduce pain.
More research is needed to discover all of the ways that stem cell therapy can help knees. Current ongoing research is trying to determine how different stem cell techniques, source choices, and dosages affect results.
If you have chronic pain in the knee or osteoarthritis and want to try stem cell therapy for yourself, contact us today for more information or to schedule your initial appointment.