Future of Medicine: Stem Cells and Knee Repair

A new procedure involving the use of a person’s own stem cells could be a breakthrough for joint pain and arthritis. The procedure is stem cell replacement therapy and it involves taking stem cells from one part of the patient – typically the posterior hip joint or lumbar spine – and injecting them into the damaged joint. One doctor in Philadelphia has been successfully using this procedure to treat knee pain.

Stem Cell Therapy vs. Traditional Knee Replacement Surgery

The trick with many joint surgeries, especially knee surgery, is that it’s virtually impossible to replace damaged tissue and cartilage. Surgeons can remove torn cartilage and mend areas prone to inflammation, but trying to replace cartilage entirely involves multiple surgeries and the use of cadaver donor cells. Unfortunately, as with any surgical procedure, recovery can be slow and the payoff uncertain. Despite this, however, knee replacement is often the recommended solution, particularly for older patients. This new procedure could change that, since using a patient’s own cells virtually eliminates the risk of rejection and everything can be handled on an outpatient basis.


The Process

The current stem cell therapy process takes about three hours and starts with extracting cells from the patient’s bone marrow. Roughly two hours later, the doctor uses imaging techniques to carefully inject the stem cells into the knee joint. Because of their chameleon nature, the stem cells do more than change their appearance to look like other cells; they become other cells; assisting in the regrowth of damaged tissue and organs.


A Look to the Future

Although stem cell therapy in its current form uses stem cells extracted from a person’s bone marrow, as more clinical trials are completed and as more families continue to bank their babies’ umbilical cord, cord tissue may soon become the preferred source for mesenchymal stem cells. Unlike stem cells extracted from bone marrow, stem cells extracted from a baby’s umbilical cord, which are taken after the cord is cut, involve a procedure that is 100 percent painless. The entire process takes just 60 seconds and doesn’t involve a costly surgery or recovery period.

There are currently 200 clinical trials underway that are studying the potential of cord tissue stem cells. This provides reason to believe that stem cell therapy – cord tissue stem cell therapy in particular – will soon be a widely used form of treatment for knee injuries, spinal cord injuries and even heart disease.

What do you think about this revolutionary procedure? Comment below and let us know! For more information on stem cord stem cells and benefits of cord blood and cord tissue banking, contact us today at 888.882.CORD(2673) for local calls or (702) 914-7250 if you’re calling from an international destination.


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