Stem Cell Therapy for Knees

The knee joint contains several supporting and moving parts, including bones, cartilage, muscles, ligaments, and tendons, all of which are subject to disease and injury throughout life. Arthritis of the knee is a degenerative joint disease that affects millions of people each year.

When knee pain impedes your ability to do the things you need or want to do, it can negatively affect your enjoyment of each day. Knee problems can interfere with many things, from participation in sports to simply getting up from a chair and walking.  Although there are several alternatives to knee surgery, such as injection of cartilage substitutes or steroids, these treatments are usually not a viable long term option.

Traditional methods of knee pain treatment:

  • Pain- killers
  • Heat or cold to the sore area
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Cartilage substitutes
  • Cortisone injection
  • Surgery

Although a common suggestion for those suffering with knee injuries, surgery is accompanied by risks and sometimes complications. Surgical options range from arthroscopic knee surgery to complete knee replacement. Arthroscopic surgeries are often used to repair tears to ligaments and tendons. Several months are required in order to gain back strength and mobility, and sometimes offer little to no benefit. These surgeries can also accelerate degeneration leading to osteoarthritis.

Stem cell therapy at OSCTC offer a non-surgical treatment option for patients trying to avoid knee surgery and for whom traditional orthopedic care has provided inadequate relief.    Stem cell therapy has been thought to potentially result in some repair of the tissues and cartilage in degenerated knee joints and presents an exciting alternative to invasive surgery and steroid injections.  These procedures may alleviate pain within the joint by reducing the amount of inflammation in the joint and potentially improving the body’s ability to regenerate the damaged joint tissue.  Patients are typically encouraged to walk the same day, and most experience little to no down time from the procedure.

Will a stem cell injection fix my knee?

This is a very common question from any patient who is looking at stem cell therapy to avoid knee surgery. The answer is, “it depends.”

Stem cell injections will not fix every knee condition regardless of type and severity.  Sometimes surgical intervention cannot be avoided.  A common example is loose bodies like cartilage or bone fragments inside the knee joint.  These can cause painful inflammation, degeneration of the joint and “catching” of the knee. Treating this kind of condition with stem cells alone might alleviate some of the inflammation temporarily, but it will return and the pain and degeneration will continue since the underlying issue hasn’t been addressed. This would be a waste of stem cells, time and money. After any loose bodies are removed through minimally invasive surgery, stem cell therapy can be used to promote faster healing and tissue regeneration.  Your individual situation can be discussed in consultation with our board certified orthopaedic surgeon.

Commonly Treated Knee Conditions:

  • Arthritis of the knee joint
  • Meniscus tears
  • Tendon tears
  • Ligament tears

Not all cases or patients respond to stem cell therapy and outcomes will vary from patient to patient. Each patient must be assessed individually to determine the potential for optimal results from this stem cell therapy.