Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) are licensed healthcare providers (Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners) who are trained and educated similarly to physicians. Nurse Practitioners begin with training as a Registered Nurse and then complete additional schooling, clinical rotations, and examinations to become a nurse practitioner (CRNP). Physician Assistants earn a four year undergraduate degree prior to…
How Stem Cell Therapy Can Ease Knee Pain
If you are experiencing knee pain, stem cell therapy can be a viable treatment option for you. But how does stem cell therapy work?
Stem cell therapy
Cells are the basic structural and functional units of all living organisms. Cell therapy involves the injection of cellular material into a patient’s body. The objective is to improve the biological function of damaged or degraded tissues and organs. The injection of the cellular material can be taken from either the patient (autologous) or from a donor (allogeneic) and may be used to address a wide range of conditions, including chronic knee pain.
There are two types of cell therapies: platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), or platelet lysate, injections are growth factor-based treatments. In these cases, blood is drawn from a patient and placed in a centrifuge to be spun out to separate the platelets from the rest of the blood.
The doctor then takes these platelets and recombines them with a lower volume of blood plasma to create a fluid with a higher than normal concentration of platelets. The growth factors (special proteins that trigger growth and healing in the body) are then injected into the damaged tissue. This will help expedite the process of the body rebuilding collagen and tissue. This process can be done to treat myriad injuries, as well as chronic knee pain.
How to know if stem cell therapy is needed
There are a few ways to determine if stem cell therapy should be used to treat knee pain.
1. The pain interferes with daily functioning
Conditions such as knee osteoarthritis and cartilage degeneration can make daily activities difficult. Daily functioning can refer to walking, climbing stairs or getting in and out of cars, chairs or bathtubs. Extended debilitating knee pain not only can lead to more damage but also inactivity and depression. One potential way to prevent knee pain from limiting your ability to function daily is by consulting with a local physician who offers stem cell therapy for knee pain.
2. Other treatments do not work for knee pain
Some physicians may recommend other forms of symptom management before they recommend stem cell therapy for knee pain. Other types of treatment may include a regular exercise plan to reduce stiffness, anti-inflammatory medication, hot and cold packs and weight management. When lifestyle changes, home remedies and over-the-counter medications do not work, stem cell therapy is often a better solution.
3. The recovery process for a torn ACL or MCL
When an individual experiences a knee injury that may have resulted in a torn ACL, MCL or meniscus, an orthopedic surgeon may perform a comprehensive exam, order X-rays, MRIs and physical tests. For severe knee injuries that result in a tear, physicians may recommend stem cell therapy to speed up and improve the recovery process.
4. The patient wants to avoid knee replacement
More than 500,000 people undergo total knee replacement in the United States each year. For many who want to do everything possible to avoid knee replacement, stem cell therapy is an effective and more affordable alternative.
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If you suffer from chronic knee pain and feel that it is time to seek treatment, consult your local physician to see if stem cell therapy is a viable option for you.
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