How Does Stem Cell Therapy Repair Damaged Knees?
Can Stem Cells Fix Knees?
Stem cell therapy, also called orthobiologic therapy when used to treat orthopedic issues, is a form of regenerative medicine that has wonderful healing and growth properties. An absolute promise cannot ethically be made that stem cell therapy will fix your knees; but the odds are in your favor. Regenerative medicine is becoming more popular, and more research is being down of the effects of stem cell therapy. Much of this research has been focused on how stem cell therapy works for knees.
The results have been promising. The stem cells that we use are undifferentiated cells that are harvested from the umbilical cord after a live birth via Cesarean section that are full of growth hormones. These cells considered “Day Zero Cells,” are undifferentiated which means that these cells do not have a function yet. They are young, are more energetic, and are in a better position to begin the job of regeneration. These precious cells have the potential to grow into the type of tissue that is needed at the site of injection.
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How Effective are Stem Cell Injections for Knees?
Evidence exists that suggests stem cell injections in knees may relive pain in over 70% of patients studied, and this level was supported in a follow-up study. When discussing the use of stem cells for Osteoarthritis (bone on bone knees), there are mixed reviews. Despite this, it is a safe procedure that has the potential to have great benefit.
A study on patients with bone-on-bone knees treated with stem cell injections with umbilical cord stem cells concluded that this therapy can “significantly improve the joint function and quality of life for patients with degenerative knee osteoarthritis.”1
The stem cell injection process is minimally invasive and safe. This procedure has the potential to significantly reduce your pain and improve your function. It is wise to consider this treatment before deciding on surgical intervention, including a total knee joint replacement.
How Long Does Stem Cell Therapy Last in Knees
When your knee doctor specialist recommends treatment with stem cell therapy, he is basing that decision on years of experience. The length of time that the pain relief provided by stem cell therapy in knees will be unique to you and the condition being treated. While no guarantee can be made regarding the duration of pain relief, studies have shown pain relief lasting up to several years, even decades. The idea with stem cell injections is not to simply mask the pain, but to attempt to fix the problem causing pain in your knee.
Stem cell injections have been shown to be a safe, effective, and short procedure. It is also a cost-effective approach to avoid the thousands of dollars that you will spend on surgery and physical therapy if you opt for a joint replacement before trying stem cell therapy.
- Wang Y, Jin W, Liu H, Cui Y, Mao Q, Fei Z, Xiang C. [CURATIVE EFFECT OF HUMAN UMBILICAL CORD MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS BY INTRA-ARTICULAR INJECTION FOR DEGENERATIVE KNEE OSTEOARTHRITIS]. Zhongguo Xiu Fu Chong Jian Wai Ke Za Zhi. 2016 Dec 8;30(12):1472-1477. Chinese. doi: 10.7507/1002-1892.20160305. PMID: 29786336.