Osteoarthritis and meniscal tears are a very common source of knee pain. Osteoarthritis of the knee usually occurs in knees that have experienced trauma, infection, or injury. The knee cartilage, which acts as a protective cushion, begins to deteriorate. Recently, there has been a lot of media attention on stem cell therapy and platlet-rich plasma therapy as a new tool to treat these conditions. But what is this treatment and does it live up to all the hype?
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem Cell therapy is a new technique which works by inducing the body to kick start the healing process which would normally occur in injured and degenerated tissues. The process itself is simple. Using XRY, stem cells are injected into the damaged areas of the joint, most commonly the knee. After the stem cells are placed, they can then transform into the repair cells needed to regenerate new cartilage and repair the existing degeneration. Often this therapy is used in conjunction with platlet-rich plasma therapy to maximize results and promote additional healing.
Platlet-rich Plasma Therapy
Platelets are a type of cell which the body normally produces. Platlets can initiate tissue repair by releasing growth factors. These growth factors in turn attract other cells to the area and kick off the healing process. So how does platlet-rich plasma therapy work? First a small sample of the patient's own blood is drawn and centrifuged to separate the platelets from other blood components. This concentrated mixture is then injected into problem areas such as weakened ligaments, meniscal tears, or areas of osteoarthritis. This starts the body's natural healing abilities. The areas are typically treated more than once to obtain maximum results but the number of times will vary for each patient.
Yes, but does it produce results?
A recent clinical study found that Regenerative Therapy delivered significant improvement in knee function and pain to those suffering from knee osteoarthritis. The study found that study participants receiving this treatment experienced an 29.5% improvement in knee pain, stiffness and function measured according to the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index.
For those patients suffering from arthritis on an everyday basis, this could result significantly improve quality of life.
If you're experiencing pain and want to know more about what options are out there for you, call Pain Medicine Group at 941-365-5854 and we will serve you at our 3 convenient locations in Orlando, Sarasota, and Ft. Myers.