Can Stem Cell Therapy Repair Damaged Knees?
Nowadays, stem-cell therapy is considered to be a miracle cure that can help to treat many types of conditions, right from wrinkles on face to spinal repair.
After doing various animal studies, these stem-cell treatments have become a new hope for patients of heart, Parkinson’s disease and many other untreatable diseases. Stem cell therapy for pain is also used for treating osteoarthritis of our knees.
In the USA as well as in many parts of the world, millions of people are living with knee pain. Mostly, people manage their pain symptoms through weight loss, exercise, medical treatments or lifestyle modification.
In case symptoms become too severe, then doctors suggest for total knee replacement. More than 600,000 people every year undergo this kind of operation in the USA alone. Stem cell therapy is surely a better alternative to surgery.
Stem cell injections meant for knees
Cartilage that covers the ends of our bones will enable the bones to smoothly glide against one another. Knee pain is caused due to damages to the cartilage which leads to increased amount of friction and results into pain, inflammation and finally loss of mobility.
Theoretically, stem cell therapy will use healing mechanisms of our body to help repair as well as slow down the deterioration of cartilage.
Stem-cell therapy meant for knees will aim to:
- Slow down and also repair damaged cartilage
- Reduce pain and inflammation
- Delay or prevent knee replacement surgery
Basically, the treatment will involve the followings:
- Obtaining small blood, from the arm
- Concentrate stem cells together
- Finally, injecting stem cells into the knee
Safety of stem-cell therapy
Most of the stem-cell therapy by using adult stem cell is considered to be safe as the stem cells can be collected from patient and minimize any risk of having unwanted reaction. Most common side-effects can be temporary pain and swelling.
As such, most stem-cell therapy used for arthritis can be considered safe, as it will not carry the same amount of risks like other medical procedure where there can be small infection risk.
Risk can increase if:
- Different stem cell type of is used
- If stem cells are not properly cultured in the lab
- If stem cells are also mixed with any other chemicals
Few research results suggest that stem cell therapy, which is engaging in such kinds of practices, will elevate the risk of tumor.
Research is still ongoing like most other regenerative medicine treatments. Also, FDA regulations for this treatment are relatively new and may also change.