Can Stem Cell Therapy Heal Your Damaged Knees?
Imagine what would be your life with damaged knees? You won’t be able to run, walk, bend or even put the slightest weight on your knees. They’d hurt if you try to put stress on them. Well, damaged knees can be healed with a stem cell therapy. Let’s find out how.
Just like everything else, our bodies also wear down the longer we use them. Our knees and other joints are particularly more sensitive towards the wear and tear. When our knees began to wear out, we find it harder to walk, run, bend, or put any stress on our knees. As knees start wearing out, they become painful. When the pain gets worse, you rush to your doctor who would suggest you get a knee replacement surgery.
Most of the people with damaged knees often become fearful when doctors recommend them getting a knee replacement surgery. Becoming scared of the surgery is quite natural because we know that majority of surgeries irrespective of type carry some innate risks. Patients would either have adverse reactions to anesthesia or sometimes get pop-op infections or even blood clots. There might also be cases when bodies reject the knee implant altogether.
It is a well-known fact that the recovery time for a total knee replacement surgery is quite long and often frustrating. To add insult to injury, the possibility of experiencing one of these inherent risks increases as you grow older.
Honestly, it’s quite normal to feel a bit scared of the idea of knee replacement surgery.
Move Over Surgery
In case you’re wondering if knee replacement surgery is the only chance of surviving damaged knees then let us give you the good news. Many thanks to the advancements in the health sciences field, damaged knees can also be healed with a stem cell therapy or stem cell transplant. Surgery is no longer the only option to treat your damaged knees. Yes, you’ve heard that right. Numerous innovations have been made in the use of stem cells for knee injuries and arthritis.
What are Stem Cells?
Basically, stem cells are the building blocks of our body. We are born with stem cells in our body. As we grow and develop, the stem cells become skin cells, liver cells, nerve cells, etc. The more we grow, our bodies continue to produce these stem cells to treat and sustain our bodily systems.
Stem cells may come from various sources but for knee therapy, stem cells should be used from your own body. Our tissues and organs are constantly regenerating on their own so they can be used for the knee therapies. Our own stem cells found in our blood, bone marrow and adipose tissues come from the same family of cells forming joints, cartilage, ligaments, menisci, bone, and muscles. The same cells can be used to help repair your damaged joints.
Stem Cell Therapy
With stem cell therapy, new and healthy cartilage can be regrown in our knee joints. When our knee joints become damaged due to injury or get degenerated with age, they need repair which can only be achieved with a surgery or stem cell therapy.
As already discussed, stem cells can develop into many different types of tissues including bone and cartilage. The stem cells are gathered from the patient’s own bone marrow as they are efficient in repairing the cartilage.
When stem cells are harvested from the bone marrow, they are concentrated along with their corresponding growth factors. They are delivered directly into the damaged knee through injections. The injection forms a framework upon which cells can reproduce. Stem cells are then multiplied and form a new cartilage to replace the injured tissue.
To deliver the stem cells precisely to the site of the damaged cartilage, the physicians use medical imaging, such as ultrasound, during the procedure.
The other method of transferring stem cells involves surgery. During surgical treatment, the joint surface is exposed and stem cells are transplanted into the affected site. Growth factors are also supplemented to enhance the healing process.
Intense physical activity is not recommended after the surgery because stress to the joint reduces the chances of successful recovery.
Stem cell therapy can help get rid of knee replacement surgery altogether.
Risks and Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy for Damaged Knees
While knee replacement surgery comes with several risks that are scary and big, many of those inherent risks evaporate with stem cell therapy. The only risk a patient can face is the risk of getting an infection which is, in fact, quite rare as the procedure is so negligibly invasive.
On the other hand, the benefits of stem cell therapy for damaged knees are so many. Let’s check them out in detail below:
Stem cell therapy is less time-consuming and does not require any large cuts that are quite common in conventional surgeries.
The procedure is not very expensive. All the initial consultation, examination, and treatment planning are done for at a low cost to help reduce your knee treatment expenditure.
Stem cell therapy is natural and does not involve any synthetic stem cells. Cells from other sources are not used. Instead, stem cells are derived from the patient’s own bone marrow for the knee treatment. Stem cells are taken from one part of the body and then injected into the affected area of your body. It is as natural as you can think of.
Minimal Recovery Time
The recovery time from the stem cell therapy is minimal. With surgeries, months of rehab are required to regain strength and mobility. However, with stem cell knee injections, you do not have to wait longer to get recovered. You can walk in and walk out of the procedure on your own without disrupting your daily routine. Within only a few weeks, your activity levels are increased and you start feeling much better and fresh.