Curious why your knees are making noises and causing pain while walking, running or bending? [Tweet] Just as the tread present on tires gets wear away with time, the cartilage that cushions our joints also breaks down, too. Because the slippery cushion mater Curious why your knees are making noises and causing pain while walking, running or bending? Just as the tread present on tires gets wear away with time, the cartilage that cushions our joints also breaks down, too. Because the slippery cushion material wears out, joints gets rub each other causing pain and grinding sensation. As time progresses, a stage comes when all the pharmaceutical, non operative options stop working and doctors prescribe you knee replacement surgery as cartilage cannot heal itself.
If you are scared with the word surgery and want to explore less invasive options to maintain mobility as you age, then thank to advancements made in the stem cell science. Yes, really! Now surgery is not the only option for knee pain. There have been many innovations in the use of stem cells for treating various life defying diseases.
What are Stem Cells?
Our journey of being human starts with conceiving and growing in uterus, we start there primarily as stem cells. These cells then multiply and develop into liver cells, skin cells, nerve cells etc. The stem cells are found in abundance in adult tissues such as bone marrow, adipose tissue, blood, retina etc. The function of these cells is to do everyday repair and maintain our body. The discovery of the potential of our own cells to heal our own body is going to dramatically shift the landscape of medicine in the years to come.
Stem cell therapy for knee
Instead of replacing knee with an artificial synthetic implant, stem cell therapy in knee can be used to regrow healthy tissues that have been damaged. Stem-cells have capability to revitalize worn cartilage in the knee joint.
Risks and Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy for Knees
Knee replacement surgeries are not only scary, but also several risks are associated with it. With stem cell therapy, most of these risks get diminished.
Procedure is minimally invasive: The procedure of stem cell therapy is minimal invasive; so risks of infection are very less.
Stem cell therapy for knee is natural: The stem cells are isolated from patient’s own body. The stem cells are isolated from patient’s own body and injected back to problem areas of patients only. The procedure takes 3-4 hrs only. It is as natural as we can get!
Recovery time is minimal: With surgery, the recovery time lasts for months; many of them spend recovery time with restricted mobility. With stem cell knee injections, you will be able to walk in and walk out of the procedure on your own at same day, and there will be no changes in your daily routine.
Current status of Research
Presently worldwide research trials are being conducted to assess the efficacy of stem cell therapy.
In a recent study, nine patients (including two patients with bilateral symptoms) diagnosed with osteoarthritis were treated with a single injection of adipose derived stem cells. Significant improvement was observed in patients within the first 6 months. The administration of stem cells into impaired joints resulted in pain relief and improved quality of life, accompanied by restoration of hyaline cartilage.
In another published case study, the intra- articular injection of bone marrow derived cells in a patient improved functional status of the knee and the number of stairs she could climb up after two months post stem cell therapy.
The results obtained in clinical results are very encouraging and patients are experiencing positive results. In the near future, stem-cell therapy will surely be the choice of patients who wish to have joint preservation rather than joint replacement.