Stem Cells For Knee Problems
Dennis M. Lox, MD, an expert in Sports and Regenerative Medicine, explains how regenerative therapies such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Stem Cell Therapy may be utilized for disorders of the knee.
While many potential underlying etiologies for knee pain exist, the most common causes for knee stem cell treatment are:
- Meniscal Tears
- Failed Knee Surgery
- Alternative Treatment to Surgery
Stem Cell Therapy for meniscal tears is becoming increasingly common. Dr. Lox states, scientific literature has documented knee meniscal surgery will accelerate arthritis degeneration. More patients and athletes are becoming more focused not just on today, but how their knee will be in the future. Repair and regeneration has great appeal in this setting.
When knee surgery has been performed, and the pain and debility continues, alternative treatment strategies are explored. This is evident as more patients are reluctant to keep having additional knee surgeries after initial surgical failure. This is critical in sports, especially the professional ranks where return to sports is critical to their career. Stem cell treatment will not accelerate the development of arthritis as does knee surgery. The goal of stem cell treatment is to repair and if possible to regenerate. Not to further propagation of the degenerative cascade.
Degenerative arthritis or osteoarthritis is a progressive disorder. This may be at different rates in various individuals. The traditional medical model employs anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, and surgery. All of these treatment modalities fail to halt the progression of arthritis. The eventual outcome is when the knee joint is degenerated enough, or the pain and debility intolerable, total knee replacement is recommended.
The new Regenerative Medicine strategy is to aid in repair or regeneration of the joint. Dr. Lox notes, this may stop degeneration, or possibly reverse the degeneration with repair of joint cartilage. This strategic goal is contrary to the passive medications and injections that do not alter the long term outcome. Bypassing this passive route of treatment and incorporating Stem Cell Therapy may be a viable alternative to knee surgery and total knee replacement.