Is Stem Cell Therapy Effective For Knee Problems?
Published April 28th, 2021
Many people struggle with knee problems every day. In fact, this problem affects 25% of US citizens and can affect people of any age. Having knee complications make it hard for people to perform daily tasks, regardless of how simple or complex the job is.
People usually acquire knee problems either from too much physical activity that causes strain on the knees or, the most common reason, age. From walking and going up the stairs to standing for too long, knee problems can be a significant inconvenience.
Types of Stem Cell Therapy
Experts have developed the concept of stem cell therapy to help those in need, but how effective is it? Stem cell therapy is also often referred to as orthobiologic treatment. Here are its main types:
- Adipose derived stem cells – The first therapy uses adipose derived stem cells that come from an individual’s adipose.
- Bone Marrow derived stem cells – The next therapy uses bone marrow derived stem cells, which come from the bone marrow. The bone marrow stem cell primarily treats back problems.
- Umbilical cord stem cells and placenta derived stem cells – The last type of stem cell therapy uses the umbilical cord and placenta stem cells from the afterbirth umbilical cords and placenta for new birth mothers.
Generally speaking, stem cell therapy for knees is a procedure that uses adult stem cells to repair damaged knees. Let’s further discuss how effective this procedure is.
Is Stem Cell Better Than Knee Replacement?
For many years now, people have been undergoing total knee replacement surgeries to treat knee problems. These include tendinopathies, knee ligament tears, and knee arthritis. All kinds of surgery carry a certain level of risk, including reactions to anesthesia, post-op infections, blood clots, organ rejection, etc. These risk levels increase as you age, making it a frightening procedure for the elderly. Even if you are not old, surgical procedures can still be scary for most people. Fortunately, due to the innovations and advancements in the medical field, experts have developed another way to treat knee conditions. This alternative is what we call stem cell therapy for knee pain.
Knee Replacement Recovery Time
Although knee replacement is a well-known procedure that people do all the time, it is such a complex surgery that recovery time can last up to a few months. This long recovery time is perhaps the most relevant aspect that makes stem cell therapy better than knee replacement surgeries.
Stem Cell Therapy As An Alternative
Stem cell therapy is an excellent alternative for repairing knee damages, especially if you are not too fond of getting major surgery. This treatment for knee works by targeting damaged tissues in your body and making them repair themselves through adult stem cells. Several pieces of evidence show that stem cell therapy treats knee arthritis symptoms effectively. The success rate and research on this procedure have their limitations since it is new in the industry.
Stem Cell Therapy VS. Knee Replacement
Undoubtedly, both procedures effectively treat knee problems, and both have their risks and benefits. When it comes to which method is better, it may often depend on the person. Some patients will prefer the easier way, which is stem cell therapy, while others prefer the old-school procedure. One of the significant risks of stem cell therapy procedures is the risk of getting an infection. Although you rarely acquire this infection, it is possible. On the other hand, the benefits outweigh the risks in this procedure.
Contrary to knee replacement surgeries, stem cell therapy is a quick procedure, specifically a few minutes to hours at most, depending on the severity of the situation. Moreover, injecting stem cells is more natural than surgery as it uses your cells to treat a damaged part of your body. Since your body will not undergo significant procedures, you will be able to recover much faster when doing stem cell therapy.
How Much Does Stem Cell Therapy for Knees Cost?
Typically speaking, the cost of getting a stem cell therapy procedure is significantly lower than your average treatment surgeries. Stem cell therapy procedures are pretty inexpensive compared to other methods due to the minimal requirements it has. Let’s compare the factors that make knee replacement surgery more expensive.
Both procedures require you to consult a physician before getting it done, although stem cell therapy does not require pre-surgical lab work. Unlike surgical procedures, stem cell therapy does not require you to stay in the hospital after the process, as the knee pain after that ranges from mild to moderate only.
Many factors can cause stem cell treatments to be expensive, including the place where the procedure will take place, culturally expanded cells, and the location of the laboratory. There are different approaches to getting stem cell therapy, and these approaches can influence the cost of the whole procedure.
Right out the bat, a knee replacement surgery should cost you around $5,000 to $10,000, depending on the circumstances and insurance coverage. On the other hand, a stem cell therapy procedure will cost you roughly $3,000 to $6,000. Although more advanced stem cell treatments can cost you up to $100,000, this is for rare or severe cases already. From this alone, you can see why stem cell therapy is the better choice out of the two procedures. There are minimal risks, little pain post-procedure, and less recovery time.
How Long Does Stem Cell Therapy Last for Knees?
Despite the quick treatment process, stem cell therapy injections are designed to be long-term solutions. One of the main reasons this therapy guarantees an efficient treatment for knee problems is that the new stem cells injected into your knees remain active for ten weeks. Many patients have claimed that some procedures that they went through did not provide a long-term solution.
Let’s briefly discuss the breakdown of what happens during and after the procedure to understand better how long the therapy lasts. The length of stem cell therapy procedures will depend significantly on the situation of the tissue that is being treated. Stem cell knee injections usually take less than two hours, precisely 90 hours, to complete.
This procedure does not usually require any rehabilitation afterward. Since the process is not as painful as knee replacement surgeries, you will not need as much time for recovery. After being injected into specific body areas, the injection treatments will automatically begin repairing the damage. These new cells in that area of the body can keep regenerating tissues and cells for up to a year or more. Most individuals who undergo this procedure will usually start seeing results after one or two weeks.
We need to elaborate and study several things regarding the advancements and success rates of this treatment procedure. Again, this knee problem procedure is relatively new to the industry, which means it is still a growing tactic. Nonetheless, stem cell therapy procedures, even if not performed to treat knee conditions, are very impressive.
There are a lot of opportunities that come with the development of this treatment. Stem cell therapy has been a known procedure for a long time now. Also, not all bodies will have the same reaction to the treatment. Some may be more sensitive to the process and acquire a bacterial infection, while others will quickly improve.
Always Consult A Doctor
Although this procedure is well-known, you still have to consult a doctor and one that you trust. Call hospitals to request appointments before getting anything done because not everyone reacts the same to specific procedures. Doing this will ensure that you are 100% right and ready for the treatment.
Get to know your physician better, see how confident they are with the procedure, and see how you feel about the process. You can ask about where the cells will come from, how long the process will take, who will perform the treatment, and what type of cell will be used on you.
With that, there is more than one kind of stem cell therapy for knees that you can do in reducing pain and damage. Having damaged knees can hold you back from doing a lot of things. For people who have a passion for doing physical activities, such as athletes, dancers, and even doctors, having knee problems can be dream-crushing.
About The Author
As a professional writer at many renowned websites Krizzia Paolyn has covered a wide range of topics in many industries. Her knack for uncovering important truths and conducting thorough research on each topic she writes about has helped thousands of people across the world.