Can Stem Cell Therapy Be Used In Place Of Knee Replacement?

Can Stem Cell Therapy Be Used In Place Of Knee Replacement?

It is no secret that as we age, our bodies begin to show signs of wear and tear.  One of the main places we see this wear and tear is in weight-bearing joints such as the knee.  Between walking, running, playing sports, and normal daily usage, our knees tend to take a beating over our lifetimes.  As our bodies age and the cartilage in our knees dry up and wear thin, pain becomes prevalent.  There are many conservative treatments for knee pain.  However, many people end up resorting to knee replacement, which comes with many risks and side effects.

Many people who are at the point of considering knee replacement have tried a long list of other conservative treatments that have failed to give them the help they need.  Some of these treatments include medications, physical therapy, and ice, and rest.  While these treatments tend to work for a while, they are typically not enough long term to help the patient live a pain-free life.  As a result, many patients turn to knee replacement surgery for help.

Knee replacement surgery comes with a host of risks and side effects, and it is not guaranteed to eliminate all pain.  Knee replacement surgery is saved for people who are in extreme pain and have trouble walking, climbing stairs, or going through daily activities.  While the surgery can be helpful, it is not without risks.  In any surgery, there is the risk of infection, blood clots, heart attack, stroke, or nerve damage, which can leave the patient worse off than they were to start.  In addition to the normal risks of surgery, artificial joints can eventually wear out over time.  Once this happens, another surgery is required to replace the worn-down joint.  In addition to these side effects, knee replacement surgery requires a significant amount of downtime during the healing process.

Fortunately, stem cell therapy has shown it has the potential to be an alternative treatment to knee replacement therapy.  Stem cell therapy is a minimally invasive treatment option that has far less side effects and risks of surgical intervention.  During stem cell therapy, stem cell injections are given to the patient in their knee.  The stem cells work to repair the damaged cartilage and restore it.  Ideally, stem cell therapy will keep patients from needing knee replacement surgery in the future.  It provides the patient with a less invasive procedure that requires significantly less downtime and potentially better results.

Stem cell therapy is still a very new development and is being studied for a variety of ailments, including those who are in need of knee replacement surgery.  Results do vary.  However, many patients who begin stem cell therapy early can see a significant improvement that postpones or eliminates the need for knee replacement surgery down the line.  Surgery always poses significant risks and requires a significant amount of downtime.  Stem cell therapy provides hope that one day, knee replacement surgery may be obsolete.

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