Can Stem Cell Therapy Repair Damaged Knees?
What is Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy is an intervention that has excited orthopedic surgeons around the world. The full potential of this therapy is not yet known. But what is known regarding the current, FDA approved procedures using stem cells is very promising.
Stem cells are cells that are not yet fully mature and are known as undifferentiated cells. What this means is that these cells do not have a purpose yet. Fully developed, mature cells have a specific job, stem cells do not. With specific targeting and proper care on the part of your surgeon, these cells have the ability to grow into needed cells of different forms that are necessary for full functioning of different areas of the body.
These cells can be utilized in the form of targeted stem cell injections, or open surgical techniques to place the cells in an even more specific, targeted destination.
Stem cells are able to be harvested from multiple sources, including fully grown adult tissues. Several structures in the body have existing stem cells present in the body your entire life and are able to be harvested. In this case, when these stem cells exist in a specific tissue, they will grow and replicate to reproduce into cells of the structure that they were harvested from. For example, stem cells harvested from the liver will reproduce into more liver cells.
But it is also possible to harvest cells from adult tissues and then alter them in a lab to resemble the less mature cells that do not yet have a specific job once they reach full maturation. These cells then reproduce and differentiate into specialized cells that do have a specific purpose.
Stem Cell Injections for Knees
One of the most common areas that an orthopedic surgeon will utilize stem cell therapy is in the knees. Stem cell injections or other therapies using stem cells can be a very helpful and beneficial procedure whether your pain be from arthritis, damage to knee cartilage, or other causes.
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Knee Damage Treatments at Dr. Burke Orthopedic
Knee damage is extremely common as we age. The knees support all of your bodyweight when you are standing or walking. When walking, each individual knee takes turns supporting the entire body. And if you are a runner or were in your youth, the constant pounding on the knees adds up and can lead to cartilage damage, arthritis or other issues over time.
If you are experiencing knee pain, this is when a consultation with a physician at Dr. Burke Orthopedics is necessary. The physicians at this facility are all highly trained and board-certified. They will be able to properly and accurately diagnose the source of your pain and recommend the best treatment options. Stem cell injections or other stem cell therapies for your knees may be recommended if you are an appropriate candidate for the procedure. This therapy may help take years off your knees and get them back to a pain-free, fully functioning joint.