Stem cell therapy is like a miracle cure because it can be used to treat so many conditions ranging from removing wrinkles to even the arduous task of providing some spinal pain relief. One of the most common and interesting benefits it offers is stem cell therapy for joints.
This is how it helps treat arthritis, which starts when the cartilage lining joints start deteriorating. This, in turn, leads to pain while restricting function which is why arthritis is a leading cause of disability.
While painkillers do provide temporary relief the only permanent solution sufferers had so far was knee replacement surgery. Stem cell therapy, however, has changed things because it helps reduce pain and repair cartilage to regain joint functionality without any surgery.
What it does?
Stem cells are responsible for maintaining and healing joint tissues by replenishing all the damaged and dying cells. Sometimes the stem cells don’t work properly like in joints because of limited blood supply. This is where stem cell therapy helps because the injection of stem cells initiates the body’s self-recovery process and arthritis relief.
Stem cell therapy for knees
The cartilage in joints promotes the smooth movement of joint surfaces while protecting the bones from friction. It also has the capacity of absorbing shock up to 20 times the body weight, like in athletes.
Osteoarthritis is a common chronic degenerative disorder that deteriorates the knee’s cartilage with time. Sometimes a knee injury like a fracture or ligament or tendon tear may also lead to osteoarthritis. This leads to an unstable joint with worn out articular cartilage which slowly leads to bone, joint lining, ligament, tendon, and muscle damage.
Stem Cell Therapy for joints is a minimally invasive procedure that helps resolve the problem by reducing inflammation and repairing all arthritis-related damage. This is the process prevents the need for knee replacement surgery.
The doctor uses simple methods to extract adult stem cells from the bone marrow which is concentrated and injected into the knee through image guidance.
While the knee continues to naturally deteriorate even after the injury, the knee that’s injected with stem cells is in a much better condition than before the injection.
According to researchers, stem cell therapy helps the knee by turning into essential cartilage cells, reducing inflammation and releasing proteins called cytokines to control cartilage regeneration and reduce pain.
The procedure is usually completed in a single visit spanning about 2-3 hours. There however is also an initial consultation before starting the therapy, and a follow-up appointment to assess the results and progress.
It is good to know that stem cell therapy for joints is a non-invasive procedure, that’s not very painful and has minimal side effects. The most the patient may suffer from is some mild pain at the injection site, some swelling and some joint stiffness.
Stem cell therapy for joints is relatively safe when performed on the knees than on other parts of the body like spine or eyes. Adult stem cell therapy is safe because the cells are collected from the patient’s own body and not elsewhere. This helps reduce the possibility of any reactions.
The chances of side effects and risks are increased if:
- Different stem cell types are used
- The stem cells are extracted from the patient and then grown in the lab for some time before injection
- The cells are mixed with other mediums or chemicals before injecting.
When it comes to the cost for stem cell therapy for joints like knees, it generally works out to about $3,000 to $5,000 per knee. It all depends on the clinic, the geographical location and of course the extent of joint problem and pain.
While most insurance companies do not cover stem cell therapy as yet, they are expected to change in the future when more research proves the effectiveness and benefits of the procedure.
Stem cell therapy for joints can indeed help provide joint pain relief. Despite this being a relatively new form of treatment, and FDA cautiously proceeding about it, people who have tried it have managed to avoid knee surgery.
In short, they experience joint pain relief through minimal expenses and side effects.