Is the Stem Cell Therapy the Right Treatment for Damaged Knees?
Stem Cell Therapy In Treating Damaged Knees
All of us want to live life with minimal discomfort. This applies to almost all age groups. We want to live normally without any aches or pains that hinder our movement.
Osteoarthritis is a very common medical condition and it is characterized by the thinning of the cartilage, mostly in the knee joint.
The cartilage is responsible to protect the joint from any friction due to movements. If it gets thinned out, like that of osteoarthritis sufferers, any movement they due will cause pain.
The condition is chronic and it is a degenerative disease that progresses over time, at least, until it is dealt with by getting a surgery.
Although there are certain steroid injections that can help with the pain and swelling, it just provides temporary relief. A longer lasting one would require a person to get a knee replacement surgery, but the notion of getting a surgical procedure makes some patients queasy.
We do whatever it takes to get ourselves healed, but we also do not want a procedure that is painful and poses some risks as well.
That being said, stem cell therapy has been pushed to be an alternative to knee replacement surgeries, but are they really the answer for the treatment of damaged knees?
Stem Cell Therapy
Some Osteoarthritis suffers have already undergone with the procedure and they have reported generally positive results.
The reason why stem cells are effective in treating damaged knees is due to the fact that it has some unique characteristics that are just not present in other cells of the body.
For instance, they can proliferate and divide to replace the cells in the damaged parts of our bodies. Furthermore, they can turn into specific cells that will, again, replace what was lost in the damaged area.
Stem cell therapies have been proven safe because the cells that are used are extracted from the patient’s bone marrow or their adipose (fat) tissue. Once extracted, it is concentrated by using a centrifuge and then it is injected near the damaged area of the body (in this case, the area near the damaged knee).
Are there Any Side Effects?
There are no known side effects to stem cell therapies, per se. If there are, it is due to the way it is administered (through injection). Some patients might feel some mild pain in the area of injection, some swelling, and even some joint stiffness as well.
How Much is It?
This is probably the most surprising part. Stem cell therapies are still being researched to this day, which means that its effects and functions are not yet fully realized and documented. Therefore, it is still considered as experimental.
That being said, the procedure can cost anywhere between $3000-$5000 depending on the clinic that is administering them.
- The procedure must only be done by a medical professional. Make sure to ask the doctor if he has done a similar procedure in the past.
- Ask for the clinic’s credentials and see if their institution is a credible one.
- The therapy is still not approved by the FDA, therefore, it cannot be covered by insurance (as of the time being).