You have probably heard of stem cell therapy, but you may not realize how powerful its potential is for numerous medical treatments. For example, a medical aesthetic application uses the patient’s own stem cells to increase the amount of collagen generated in the skin, making the organ more youthful and healthy. Stem cells are useful for knee regeneration therapy as well.
Knee regeneration is a technique that is typically used when osteoarthritis or an accident causes the tissues of the knees to degrade. A study announced in January 2013, and continuing through 2015, shows us how stem cells can be used to regenerate cells and reduce knee pain (1).
Knee Pain Relief with Stem Cells
Cartistem is the drug analyzed in the study. Its source for stem cells is not the patient’s own body but umbilical cords. Umbilical cords contain high quantities of stem cells and, once separated from a newborn, are discarded if not used for medical purposes such as knee pain relief.
Once the stems cells are harvested, they are combined with a compound called hyaluronan, which is a major component of cartilage. During treatment, it is injected directly into the part of the knee where the cartilage has deteriorated.
In this particular experiment, Cartistem is used in conjunction with two other medical procedures. First, the patient has arthroscopic surgery. Then, Cartistem is applied during the microfracture process, a purposive creation of tiny breaks in the bones meant to naturally stimulate high-speed cartilage growth.
Joint repair has been an ongoing challenge for medical science because cartilage does not contain any blood or nerves, the absence of which makes healing much more difficult. Standard treatment methods for knee pain, such as arthroscopic surgery and knee replacement, have not generated consistently positive outcomes – at least not when conducted in isolation.
The Growth of Knee Regeneration Therapy
The basic idea behind Cartistem and similar approaches is to find viable ways to help patients, whether injured young people or senior citizens with osteoarthritis, from having to undergo surgery that might only prove minimally effective. Cartistem is just one such solution. Cartilage regeneration therapy is one of the hottest areas of study right now for orthopedic physicians.
Above, we noted that stem cell therapy sometimes utilizes the patient’s own cells. That’s the case with bone marrow aspiration concentration (BMAC) therapy, which is already available at Weston Medical. To find out more about our cutting-edge treatment options, contact us for a free consultation today.