Stem Cells Being Used To Treat Knee, Joint Pain

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Photo Credit: KDKA.com

With so many new treatments for joint and knee pain available these days, it’s not surprising that stem cells have become yet another option.

Stem cell treatment is so cutting edge, very few medical facilities offer the procedure to their patients, but has been effective on patients who would otherwise rely on medications, physical therapy, or even joint replacement surgery to cope with their pain. The stem cells derive from blood, bone marrow, fat and placentas, and some doctors have seen considerable inflammation decreases in patients who received the injections.

Procedure for stem cell treatments:

Bone marrow from the crest of the hip bone, sent to a lab, where it is spun down to get at the layer of stem cells. They are combined with platelets from the patients (a type of cell involved in healing) and returned to the patient. The goal is having stem cells evolve into new tissue to improve mobility function while decreasing pain.

Advantages:

Patients notice significant improvements within three months, and full benefits within one year.

Stem cell injections are usually done for wear-and-tear knee arthritis of the knees, but can also be used for hip, shoulder, ankle, and spinal pain.

Disadvantages:

While approved by the FDA for safety, like most new treatments, additional studies are needed as to the effect stem cell treatment works on everyone.

Stem cell treatment is not cheap; injections can cost anywhere between a couple hundred and thousands of dollars. The cost is usually out-of-pocket since this procedure will not usually be covered by insurance.

Want to learn more about stem cell treatment for joint pain? Click here.

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