Stem Cell Therapy For Knees | What You Need To Know …

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The main conditions treated by stem cell injections include knee osteoarthritis, cartilage degeneration, and various acute conditions, such as a torn ACL, MCL, or meniscus. Stem cell therapy may speed healing times in the latter, while it can actually rebuild tissue in degenerative conditions such as the former.

Thats a major breakthrough. Since cartilage does not regenerate, humans only have as much as they are born with. Once years of physical activity have worn it away from joints, there is no replacing it. Or at least, there wasnt before stem cell therapy.

Now, this cutting-edge technology enables physicians to introduce stem cells to the body. Thesemaster cells are capable of turning into formerly finite cell types to help the body rebuild and restore itself.

Although it may sound like an intensive procedure, stem cell therapy is relatively straightforward and usually minimally invasive. These days, physicians have many rich sources of adult stem cells, which they can harvest right from the patients own body. This obviates the need for embryonic stem cells, and thereby the need for moral arguments of yore.

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are one of the main types used by physicians in treating knee joint problems. These cells live in bone marrow, butincreasing evidence shows they also exist in a range of other types of tissue.This means they can be found in places like fat and muscle. With a local anesthetic to control discomfort, doctors can draw a sample of tissue from the chosen site of the body. The patient usually doesnt feel pain even after the procedure. In some cases, the physician may choose to put the patient under mild anesthesia.

They then isolate the mesenchymal stem cells. Once they have great enough numbers, physicians use them to prepare stem cell injections. They insert a needle into the tissue of the knee and deliver the stem cells back into the area. This is where they will get to work rebuilding the damaged tissue. Although the mechanisms arent entirely clear, once inserted into a particular environment, mesenchymal stem cells exert positive therapeutics effectsinto the local tissue environment.

Mechanisms of action of mesenchymal stem cells appear to include reducing inflammation, reducing scarring (fibrosis), and positively impacting immune system function.

Thats not quite enough to ensure a successful procedure, however. Thats why stem cell clinics may also introduce growth factors to the area. These are hormones that tell the body to deliver blood, oxygen,and nutrients to the area, helping the stem cells thrive and the body repair itself.

Physicians extract these growth factors from blood in the form of platelet-rich plasma (PRP). They take a blood sample, put it in a centrifuge and isolate the plasma, a clear liquid free of red blood cells, but rich in hormones needed for tissue repair.

So, what can a patient reasonably expect when it comes to stem cell therapy, in terms of time and cost outlay?

The answers to both of these questions differ depending on the clinic doing the procedure and the patients level of knee degradation. Some clinics recommend a course of injections over time. Meanwhile, others prepare the injection and deliver it back to the patient in only a matter of hours. Either way, the treatment is minimally invasive, with fast healing times and a speedy return to normal (and even high-intensity) activity.

Some quotes for stem cell knee treatment are as low as $5,000. Others cost up to $20,000 or more. Again, this depends on how many treatments a patient needs, as well as how many joints theyre treating at the same time. Because its easier to batch prepare stem cells, a patient treating more than one knee (or another joint) can address multiple sites for far less. The procedure would only cost an addition of about $2,000 or so per joint.

No treatment proves effective every time. However, insofar as patients reporting good results for stem cell injections, the overall evidence does lean in a beneficial direction.Studies at the Mayo Clinic, for instance, indicate that while further research is needed, it is a good option for arthritis in the knee. Anecdotal reports are positive as well. Patients report it as an effective alternative to much more invasive solutions, such as arthroscopic or knee replacement surgery.

Other studies point to the need for caution. Stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine, in general, are only now exiting their infancies. There arent enough high-quality sources from which to draw at this point, so hard and fast conclusions remain elusive. Of the studies that do exist, some contain unacceptably high levels of bias.

Of course, any new treatment will face these kinds of challenges in the beginning. For those who need an answer to knee pain, and havent yet found one that works, its likely worth the risk that it wont prove as effective as they hoped. But what about other risks?

The good news about this form of stem cell therapy is that the patient uses their own cells. That means they completely skip over the dangers that accompany donor cells. The main one of which is graft-versus-host disease (in which the donor cells initiate an immune response against the patients body). Because the cells have all the same antibodies, neither the body nor the reintroduced cells will reject one another.

Also, the relatively low-stakes outpatient nature of the procedure (versus, say, a bone marrow transplant) means that the chances of something going wrong are much reduced.

However, there do exist some risks wherever needles come into play. It is possible to get an infection at the site of the blood draw as well as at the injection site, but these risks are quite low. Other risks include discoloration at theinjection site or soreness. While some people fear the possible growth of stem cells at the site of injection into a tumor, it is unlikely for this to happen, because physicians utilize adult stem cells for these procedures that have a low proliferative capacity.

These adult stem cells tend to be much safe than pluripotent stem cell types. Examples of pluripotent stem cells are embryonic stem cells (derived from embryos) and a type of lab-made stem cell known as induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS cell).

For those who think stem cell therapy could prove beneficial, its time to set up a consultation with your doctor. Multiple factors will influence whether or not its a good idea. These include age, health, andseverity of the condition and other available treatments. However, overall, this form of regenerative medicine is reasonably affordable, very low-risk, and typically effective.

Are you seeking a stem cell treatment for your knees or other joints?To support you,we have partnered withOkyanosa state-of-the-art facility providing patients with advanced stem cell treatments.

The group offers treatments for arange of chronic conditions, includingosteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease, which are leading causes of knee pain.

If you are seeking a stem cell treatment for knee pain or other chronic condition,contact Okyanos for a Free Medical Consultation.

What questions do you still have about stem cell therapy for knees? Ask them below and we will get you answers.

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Stem Cell Therapy For Knees | What You Need To Know ...

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