Millions of people suffer from knee pain, whether due to age-related issues, such as arthritis, or from injuries. Living with chronic knee pain can be very difficult and make doing day to day activities incredibly hard. Many people do not want to undergo invasive knee surgery, or may not be a good candidate for surgery. If you're living with knee pain, you do have other options. Stem cell therapy is becoming an increasingly popular form of treatment for people who have painful knee conditions. Continue reading to learn more about what to expect during stem cell therapy for knee pain:
Harvesting Stem Cells
While it is possible to use donor stem cells, most people who undergo stem cell therapy for knee pain use their own stem cells. In some cases, stem cells are retrieved from the bone marrow of the hip, since stem cells are most plentiful in this part of the body, but it is also possible to harvest stem cells from fat, muscle, hair follicles, or even dental pulp. If your doctor opts to harvest your stem cells from the bone marrow in your hip, the procedure may cause some discomfort, but every measure will be taken to keep you as comfortable as possible.
Separation of the Stem Cells
After bone marrow has been taken from your hip, everything will be placed in a centrifuge. This is necessary to separate the stem cells and platelets from bone marrow and blood. This step will be done very carefully to help ensure that you receive the most stem cells possible. While stem cell therapy for knee pain is relatively new, the process of separating stem cells has been well studied, so you can rest assured that your bone marrow sample will be properly separated.
Stem Cell Injection
When your stem cells have been properly separated, your doctor will inject them into the area of your knee where you are experiencing pain. The theory behind stem cell therapy is that stem cells are able to transform into different types of cells. Depending on the condition of your knee, it is thought that the stem cells may be able to help stabilize the joint, making it less painful. It is also believed that stem cells may greatly reduce inflammation, which can result in less pain. Your doctor will carefully observe you after knee pain stem cell therapy and may also recommend complementary treatment.