Knee pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal problems.
Degenerative arthritis afflicts greater than 50% of adults over age 65.
Stem cell treatments have been utilized for a variety of orthopedic and sports injuries.
Stem Cell Therapy is becoming more popular as an alternative treatment for knee pain and degenerative osteoarthritis.
The use of stem cells for the treatment of chronic knee pain and degenerative arthritis, may be a viable alternative to knee surgery and knee replacement surgery.
The knee is the most commonly replaced joint, followed by the hip. Together the joints amount to close to a million joint replacement surgeries. This amounts to billions spent in health care.
Stem cells have been shown to function in many ways to repair injured tissues. Stem cells in arthritis and cartilage repair may function by controlling the inflammatory response. The inflammatory response can continue the degeneration process by promoting cartilage breakdown. This occurs by loss of cartilage cells, and the loss of surrounding matrix by the breakdown of individual components. Modifying or inhibiting this breakdown of cartilage, can lead to repair or merely ceasing the continued degenerative breakdown.
Stem cells may also exert a reparative or regenerative effect if new cartilage is formed. Stem cells can become new cartilage cells (chondrocytes). Stimulation of collagen synthesis, and the surrounding matrix foster this regeneration.
Studies have shown arthritis is progressive and serial x-rays of the knee may show marked change in 3-5 year periods.
If this degenerative breakdown that occurs over a 3-5 period can be arrested, the progression nature of arthritis may be blunted.
This nature of stem cells has gathered much interest in arthritis research.
Knee pain of many etiologies are common. Knee meniscal tears, ACL tears, failed knee surgery, and even alternatives to knee replacement surgery are being considered for stem cell treatment.
Degenerative arthritis is a common condition as we age. Arthritis tends to be progressive. Modifying or altering the progression of degenerative arthritis is a much sought after goal. The use of stem cells is a viable option in some cases to treat degenerative arthritis. Repair and regenerative effects are aspects of stem cell treatments. Though no two patients are alike, prognosis for treatment of all individuals is not practical due to extreme variability in different types of patients. This requires an approach that encompasses the individuals needs, goals, and desires to arrive at optimal treatment.