What is Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cells, which can differentiate into any kind of human cell, are harvested from a patient’s bone marrow or blood, or a newborn’s umbilical cord.
They can be used to treat several acute and chronic diseases, and research is ongoing into stem cell therapy for other conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. Bone marrow transplant, a well-established treatment for certain types of cancer, is a form of stem cell therapy.
How can Stem Cell Therapy be Applied to Knee Restoration?
As stem cells can adapt to become any type of human cell, they may be useful in the treatment of degenerative cartilage of the knee. Essentially, stem cells have the potential to replace cartilage cells that have been damaged or destroyed.
For patients, this means that there can be a substantial improvement in mobility, flexibility, and pain management. Pre-clinical and clinical trials have so far been promising, and there is evidence of safety and efficacy in the treatment of chronic knee conditions with stem cells.
What is the Process of Stem Cell Therapy for Knee Restoration?
Firstly, patients will meet with their clinician to discuss their treatment options, including alternatives to stem cell therapy. If a patient is considered a good candidate for stem cell therapy, diagnostic tests may be repeated to confirm the current status of the knee.
Next, stem cells will need to be harvested from the patient. Adult stem cells can be extracted from adipose (fat) tissue or bone marrow. Current research indicates that stem cells harvested from fat tissue have greater efficacy than bone marrow. Fat cell extraction is also less invasive.
Injectable stem cell treatment will then be prepared at a laboratory. The patient will go back to the clinic, where their stem cells are injected into the knee. Bracing is not generally required, and most patients return to work within a few days.
Activity levels can be steadily increased within two weeks; this is the time frame for experiencing considerable improvements in the condition of the knee.
What are the Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy for Knee Restoration?
Stem cell therapy for the knee has been shown to have substantial therapeutic benefits for patients with chronic knee conditions, particularly osteoarthritis and remnants of sporting injuries.
As the cells are harvested from the patient, this eliminates the chances of treatment rejection by the immune system. Harvesting itself is minimally invasive, and usually takes just a couple of hours to complete.
Patients have reported substantial improvements in their lives after receiving stem cell therapy. The reduction in pain, alongside better movement and condition of the knee, can be transformational.
As well as making everyday tasks easier, successful treatment with stem cells may give patients the opportunity to increase their activity and take up sports again. There is also huge potential for further development of stem cell treatment.
Are There Potential Drawbacks to Stem Cell Therapy for Knee Restoration?
Like all treatments, there is a possibility that stem cell therapy can fail. Some patients may not experience a substantial improvement in the condition of their knee, or their condition might be too complex to consider this type of treatment in the first place.
Stem cell therapy can also be relatively expensive. For this reason, it’s important to have an honest discussion with your knee specialist before committing to any kind of treatment.
How Can I Learn More About Stem Cell Therapy for Knee Restoration?
There is an array of resources online to help you understand stem cell therapy in the treatment of knee conditions. Click here to begin your research.
It’s also a good idea to schedule time with your doctor to run through your options and work together to find a solution that will work best in your unique circumstances. All-Pro is the expert in orthopedics and sports medicine in South Florida; call us today at (954) 399-5976 to find out how we can help you.