Stem Cells For Knee Avascular Necrosis (AVN)
Stem cells are not new. Just perhaps newer applications. One is how stem cells are used for avascular necrosis (AVN) of the knee. Stem cells have been used for decades in oncology. Bone marrow transplants utilized stem cells in the bone marrow to repopulate lost blood cells after chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Core decompression surgery has been used as well for avascular necrosis (AVN). This technique is essentially drilling into the bone of necrotic areas allowing blood and few stem cells from the bone marrow to seep into the drilled regions. This however, gives inconsistent results and is associated with pain, loss of mobility until healing occurs, and may not alter the outcome of knee joint replacement.
Directly applying stem cells into the knee or in combination with core decompression has also been used. This provides greater quantities of stem cells, yet still has the associated loss of functional level for months due to the surgery.
Another method is much simpler. Directly injecting a concentrated source of stem cells into the knee. This avoids the lengthy recovery of surgery, and many reports of success have been described. The stem cells are sophisticated, they know what to do to aid in repair. Stem cells are capable of creating blood vessels, essential to help the loss of blood supply that causes AVN, as well as stem cells can make new bone cells. This is also very important for repair or regeneration in AVN.
Not all AVN patients are the same. There are differences between patients, cause of AVN, and the way patients are treated. Not all treatments are the same and not all patients are the same.
Consideration for Stem Cell Therapy in knee avascular necrosis should be made with an experienced physician knowledgeable about this process.
Dennis M. Lox, MD, is an expert in Sports and Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Lox has extensive experience in the treatment of AVN.