Have you heard about stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis? The procedure is picking up attention as an alternative to knee replacement surgery for the thousands of people who live with severe arthritis symptoms.
If you are reluctant to undergo a procedure such as total knee replacement, then stem cell therapy could be an alternative. In this article, we take you through some essential information on both stem cell therapy and arthritis, and look at the benefits of the treatment.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, which occurs when the cartilage that protects the bones wears down gradually. Osteoarthritis affects the joints, including the knees, hips, hands and spine. Symptoms typically develop slowly and can be managed to a large extent, but the damage to the joints cannot be reversed.
Many Brits manage their osteoarthritis symptoms through lifestyle measures such as exercise and weight loss, as well as medical treatments, but what happens when symptoms become severe? Total knee replacement is commonly seen as the solution for severe knee osteoarthritis, but in recent years, stem cell therapy has emerged as a genuine alternative, offering a raft of advantages.
What is stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis?
Stem cells are produced by the body in the bone marrow, before being sent to where they are needed according to specific conditions and signals. The body uses various types of stems cells for different purposes, and there is some evidence that stem cell treatments are able to stimulate damaged tissues to repair themselves. This regenerative therapy has seen mixed results in studies, but there are certainly some potential benefits, which we will look into here.
The benefits of stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis
Non-surgical stem cell therapy is able to treat pain and inflammation using a minimally invasive technique, making it a more conservative alternative to joint replacement surgery. The procedure only takes just over an hour to complete, and due to the nature of the technique, it also demands much less recovery time; in fact, studies have shown the side effects are minimal. You might feel a degree of pain and swelling following the procedure, but these side effects typically subside quickly.
Stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis uses natural repair cells which have been taken from the body fat. It uses them to address problems caused by osteoarthritis which affect the joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons. In this sense, stem cell therapy is using natural healing mechanisms as a way to assist repair and slow down the deterioration of cartilage and other body tissues.
The studies which test the effectiveness of stem cell therapy as a complete alternative to surgery for serious osteoarthritis symptoms appear to have produced mixed results. However, the majority of people who undergo the procedure do report some degree of improvement, and the treatment is capable of; slowing the deterioration of damaged cartilage; repairing damaged cartilage; decreasing inflammation; reducing pain, and delaying or negating the need to undergo total knee replacement surgery.
Can be used after surgery
Stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis – and treatments which combine stem cell therapy with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy – can actually be used in tandem with surgery when treating osteoarthritis. There is evidence to suggest that it can assist with healing during the recovery period.
Do you suffer from osteoarthritis and are considering your treatment options? Why not book yourself in for a consultation with The KneeDoc, Professor Sanjiv Jari? Professor Jari specialises in treating knee conditions, and has worked with many of the country’s top athletes.
For more information on osteoarthritis treatment options, call us today on 01614454988.