Alternative to Knee Replacement & Surgery
Many patients have turned to Stem Cell Therapy as a safe alternative to knee replacement and knee surgery.
Knee replacement or knee surgery is frequently recommended for older adults who experience knee pain or have mobility problems such as walking or climbing stairs due to osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common diagnosis given when the joint cartilage has worn away. However, knee surgery, as with most surgeries, has certain risks and a long recovery time which includes: 1 to 2 days in the hospital, a period of 1 to 3 months after surgery when you cannot weight bear, walk on your own, or even drive a car.
“Full” recovery after a total knee replacement can take as long as 6-12 months. For those with active lifestyles who undergo knee replacement surgery, you will have to give up certain high-impact activities such as jogging and high-impact sports, perhaps for the rest of your life. Moreover, a recent study showed that up to 40% of patients with total knee replacement still suffer from pain 1 year after surgery.
Knee replacements last only for approximately 10-15 years, so it’s likely that patients will require a second knee replacement surgery, which is usually far more complex, requiring longer recovery than the initial knee replacement surgery .That is a problem for those suffering from osteoarthritis who are in their 40’s, 50’s and even 60’s as these people may outlive their knee replacements.
How Does Stem Cell Therapy For Knees Work?
Stem Cells are located throughout the body and are the body’s natural healers. We need our Stem Cells to live, as they continually renew our cells. Similarly, all the tissues in a healthy joint depend on the availability and activity of stem cells. Unlike other cells, stem cells have the unique ability to develop into a wide range of cells, including the cartilage cells needed to repair joints. The combination of fewer and less active stem cells in a joint that already does not have a good blood supply is thought to be the reason why osteoarthritis occurs. The environment in an arthritic joint is inflammatory – the cartilage breaks down and is not replaced.
The aim in using Stem Cell Therapy is to support the self-healing process of the knee joint, slow down (or even reverse) joint degeneration and suppress inflammation that can worsen arthritic pain, leading to symptom relief.
At the Boston Stem Cell Center, we utilize a patient’s stem cells to repair the knee naturally. Stem cells exist in high concentrations in bone marrow and fat, which are aspirated with minimal discomfort, and then injected back into the knee along with concentrated platelet rich plasma . Growth factors are concentrated in the platelet rich plasma layer of the blood. The platelet rich plasma activates the stem cells and provides growth factors and anti-inflammatory cytokines to change the environment in the knee from inflammatory to healing and repair. The fat cells also act as a scaffold to support the activated stem cells .
We do all our stem cell procedures under ultrasound or X-Ray fluoroscopic guidance to increase accuracy and decrease the likelihood of complications. We also add Shock Wave Therapy, additional Cytokines and Supplements and alpha-2-Macroglobulin as need.
We believe the stem cells begin to heal the knee by creating cartilage or by stimulating the creation of cartilage and other tissues that are needed, resulting in pain relief and improved function.
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The biggest reason why stem cell therapy is a popular alternative to knee replacement or knee surgery is the fast recovery time. Stem cell therapy is an outpatient procedure which takes only a few hours to complete after the stem cells are harvested. After the injections, the recovery time will differ from patient to patient. However, generally speaking, stem cells will often heal the damage areas, allowing patients to return to their normal activities, within several weeks. In many cases, patients can walk around within 24 hours.
Stem cell therapy is a safe alternative to knee replacement or surgery. Since stem cells are a natural part of your body and we only use stem cells that were abstracted from the patient’s blood, the risk of infections or rejection is minimal.
Is Stem Cell Therapy Right For You?
Although Stem Cell Therapy is considered by some people to be experimental, various research studies show that regenerative stem cell therapy and platelet rich plasma injections can provide excellent relief from joint and musculoskeletal pain and ongoing inflammation.