If a sports injury or osteoarthritis has left you with chronic knee pain, you're probably considering different treatments that will help. You want to stay active and mobile, and you want relief from pain. While surgery is a possible option, you may want to postpone it as long as possible. An alternative to consider is stem cell therapy. Stem cells are being used to treat knee pain successfully, and while they may not grow a new knee joint, they could reduce your pain and allow you to continue playing golf or cycling. Here's how these treatments are done and why they're often a good alternative to surgery.
The Stem Cells Come From Your Own Body
While donor stem cells are sometimes used, it's also common for the doctor to take stem cells from your own body and inject them in your knee. Stem cells are usually taken from your fat or your bone marrow. Fat is removed in a procedure similar to liposuction expect just a small amount of fat is needed. Bone marrow is removed with a needle, and neither procedure is difficult to endure since you'll receive a local anesthetic to numb the pain.
Stem Cell Therapy Doesn't Require Hospitalization
The procedure for stem cell treatments for knee pain takes a few hours because your stem cells are harvested and processed during the same visit as the injections are given. However, the treatment is given in a clinic or the doctor's office and you can go home when it's over. After your stem cells have been processed, the doctor injects them into your knee. When the treatment is over, you can usually walk on your knee right away since there isn't a prolonged recovery period. You may need to rest for a couple of days and wait several weeks before resuming sports activities.
Stem Cell Treatments Eliminate The Risks Of Surgery
The advantage of a knee pain stem cell treatment is that you can avoid all of the risks associated with knee surgery. Major surgery requires general anesthesia and incisions which could develop complications. Even when surgery has no adverse effects, you still have to go through a long and painful recovery period. While surgery might give you a new artificial joint, you have to endure a major procedure to get it. Surgery has its place, but you might be able to avoid it with stem cell treatments. Even if the treatments don't grow new cartilage because your knee is too damaged, they can often provide pain relief and help your knee stay healthy enough that you can keep up with sports and stay active.