Bone-on-Bone Knees: Can Stem Cell Therapy Help?
Bone-on-bone knees are as painful as they sound. Typically caused by osteoarthritis, the symptom occurs when the cartilage in the knee joint degenerates. Frustratingly, this cartilage is largely unable to repair itself, meaning that once it’s lost, it’s unlikely to come back.
Patients with osteoarthritis in the knees typically explore the least invasive treatment approaches first. They may try anti-inflammatories, painkillers, and cortisone or hyaluronic injections. Oftentimes, however, they will eventually have to undergo a knee replacement to restore functionality and minimize pain in their knees.
In some cases, however, stem cell therapy may be an alternative option that can be explored for delaying or preventing the need for a full knee replacement. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), in particular, appear to be a promising cell type due to their ability to differentiate into connective tissue. These cells can be taken from the patient’s own fat tissue or bone marrow as well as from donated umbilical cord tissue. The cells are then administered to target sites of lost cartilage to potentially reverse the degeneration of the tissue, alleviate pain, and improve mobility.
Several bodies of research have already illustrated the enormous potential that MSCs hold for osteoarthritis in the knee. For instance, a March 2020 study published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine showed that MSCs decreased symptoms of osteoarthritis in the knees for at least one year. And, research conducted by the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and China’s Cellular Biomedicine Group showed that even 10 weeks after the injections, stem cells were still at work, healing the affected joint. Further research showed that stem cell treatment for people with osteoarthritis in the knee lasted for 24 months.
While many patients will need subsequent treatments to sustain results, some patients’ knees were still in better shape five years after treatment than they were prior to stem cell therapy. And, the treatment may also halt the progression of osteoarthritis, thus helping to prevent further cartilage degeneration, alleviating pain, and reducing inflammation.
This post was written by Becky Palmer, a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine for knees, also known as stem cell treatment for knees florida! Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.