Stem Cell Therapy for Knees
Osteoarthritis of the knee can be quite disabling and cause chronic pain so severe it limits athletic activities, and even everyday activities in some individuals. If an arthritic patient begins to experience a decline in quality of life because of knee pain and other troublesome arthritis symptoms, a total knee replacement surgery may be the recommended surgical solution. There are a number of individuals who desire to postpone the invasive surgical procedure because of age, activity level, etc. For these patients, injection therapy may be beneficial and includes hyaluronic viscosupplementation, PRP or stem cell therapy. Many patients desire alternative remedies to knee replacement. Dr. Mark Getelman is available to discuss the innovative biologic treatment options with individuals living in the Thousand Oaks, Van Nuys and Los Angeles, California area.
What Causes Knee Osteoarthritis?
Each bone in the knee is covered by a firm, rubbery substance called articular cartilage. The cartilage is responsible for allowing the bones to glide over each other in a pain-free and fluid motion when the joint is moving.
Knee osteoarthritis causes many sufferers to experience chronic knee pain, swelling, loss of mobility and an overall decrease in joint function. All of these symptoms are caused by the deterioration of articular cartilage, causing bone to rub against bone within the knee joint particularly with weight bearing activity.
Can Stem Cell Therapy for Knees be a Viable Knee Repair?
Patients affected by knee osteoarthritis are commonly prescribed traditional, non-surgical options at the beginning of treatment. Common treatment options include activity modification, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. Weight reduction can be very beneficial for overweight patients. When these treatment options no longer alleviate pain, certain physicians will often recommend knee replacement surgery, but this treatment is not always a preferred knee repair option for all patients. For these patients, stem cell therapy for knees may be a potential option to further put off knee replacement.
How is Autologous Stem Cell Therapy an Alternative to Knee Replacement?
Autologous stem cell therapy for knees is a safe, potentially effective and minimally invasive option for patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis. Adult (autologous) stem cells are harvested from a patient’s own bone marrow and have the ability to help the body improve healing and promote tissue regeneration. The adult stem cells are harvested directly from the patient’s own body, eliminating the risk of tissue rejection and disease transmission.
Autologous stem cell therapy requires a physician to extract a small sample of bone marrow from the patient, typically from the hip. The bone marrow sample is then spun in a centrifuge at high speeds to separate the cellular components – white blood cells, platelets and adult stem cells – naturally found in the blood. The platelets and stem cells are then injected into the knee’s damaged area to regenerate tissue and promote healing.
For more resources on stem cell therapy for knees as a repair option for osteoarthritis, or to determine if you are a candidate for this alternative to knee replacement surgery, please contact the Thousand Oaks, Van Nuys and Los Angeles, California area practice of Dr. Mark Getelman.