If you have chronic joint problems, your doctor may have suggested joint replacement. Although most doctors try to avoid surgery when possible, often the most effective treatment for joint pain is to replace the joint. Now some doctors are using stem cell therapies to try to avoid surgery. Here’s what you need to know.
Why Avoid Joint Replacement?
Most doctors try to avoid joint replacement unless it becomes necessary for quality of life. This is because joint replacement surgery is a major undertaking with a long recovery process. Depending on the joint replaced and your own body’s ability to heal, you could be down for several weeks or even months as you recover. Physical therapy is usually necessary to learn how to use the joint.
What Stem Cells Do
Stem cells can help you avoid joint replacement surgery by relieving pain and improving mobility with a minimally invasive treatment. The stem cells are injected into the affected joint, where they stimulate the body’s own healing response. While this may not reverse the effects of the joint condition, it may improve your condition considerably. And with stem cell therapy, there is no downtime or recovery.
Surgery Is Sometimes Necessary
Even if your doctor tries stem cell therapy, there is no guarantee that it will work. There are ongoing studies trying to determine why stem cells work in some patients and not others. It can take up to eight weeks to start noticing improvement in a joint after starting stem cell therapy. If the stem cells fail to show improvement in the joint after a couple of months, your doctor may once again consider surgery.
If you are interested in trying stem cell therapy to avoid joint replacement surgery, contact us today for your examination.