Stem Cell Treatment for Knee Pain

Stem Cell Treatment for Knee Pain

Have you heard about stem cell treatment for knee pain? Osteoarthritis (OA) is the number one joint disorder in the United States. It is defined as the loss of articular cartilage that lines the end of bones. According to the CDC, over 32.5 million adults suffer from knee osteoarthritis, including over 10% of males and 13% of females over the age of 60. As our population continues to age and live longer, those numbers will only continue to grow.

Knee Osteoarthritis Treatment

Typical symptoms of knee OA include pain, stiffness, swelling and loss of motion. The symptoms can cause limitations in activity that can significantly affect your ability to function and your quality of life.

When you suffer from knee OA, your body is unable to grow new articular cartilage. Treatments primarily focus on controlling the symptoms of OA. Initially, you might treat the symptoms with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. As symptoms worsen, prescription medications and treatments such as physical therapy can be added. More severe pain can be treated with injections, including corticosteroids or viscosupplements such as Orthovisc. When those treatments stop working, your only option left is to have the knee replaced.

Stem Cell Treatment for Knee Pain

Recent advances in research have provided an alternative treatment that can often postpone the need for surgery. Stem cells provide hope for treatment for a number of severe, degenerative conditions, especially knee OA. Stem cells are cells in the body that are able to regenerate themselves through cell division. They serve as a repair system for the body.

Early stem cells were harvested from donated embryos that were not used during in vitro fertilization. There was a lot of debate regarding the ethical use of these embryos. Recently, much of the research has shifted to focusing on adult stem cells, where there is no ethical debate.

Injecting adult stem cells into the area of injury allows for healing of the damaged tissue. The property of differentiation provides stem cells the ability to heal tissues that the body otherwise is unable to regenerate due to poor blood supply. The injected stem cells help attract the body’s own stem cells to contribute to the healing process. In addition, stem cells have a broad spectrum of growth factors the help block inflammation, adding to the treatment’s success.

Early research has shown promising results with stem cell treatment for knee pain in improving patient’s pain and function following treatment. However, more research is needed to learn exactly how the stem cells work and if we are able to fully regrow the cartilage lost with knee OA.

Click HERE to learn more about the services offered for knee pain treatment at Jersey Shore Sports Medicine. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Sokalsky, please call us at 609-904-2565 or click HERE.