Due to aging and overuse, the knee's articular cartilage gradually wears down, leading to osteoarthritis, which exposes bones to friction and causes joint pain and inflammation. Since cartilage doesn't naturally regenerate, stem cell treatment is a novel and highly effective therapeutic approach that alleviates symptoms and promotes new cell growth.
Stem cells are some of the earliest occurring cells. They are commonly found in embryos, starting as a blank slate and differentiating into particular types of cells with distinct specializations. Adults also have stem cells, albeit not as many and at a lower concentration, making tissue regeneration increasingly challenging as we age.
Stem cells can be obtained from allogenic sources (donors) or harvested from a patient's (autogenic) tissues, like fat or bone marrow. Stem cells are injected into the injured area, which the body uses to slow down cartilage deterioration and promote cell renewal. Stem cell injections can also be used to treat other knee injuries, such as:
As a minimally-invasive procedure, stem cell injections have a low level of risk and demonstrate encouraging long-term potential. Professional athletes opt for cutting-edge stem cell treatment to avoid placing their careers on hold.
The positive effects of stem cell injections for knee osteoarthritis can last from 6 months to several years, with some patients never experiencing the same level of pain as they did before treatment.