If you want an appointment with a knee pain doctor in Ohio then you’re going to have a long wait. Most of the best orthopedic knee surgeons in Ohio have schedules booked out for several months. Why? It’s not just because they are knee specialists.
It’s because the knee is one of the most injured or worn joints because it carries such a heavy load for our body. ACL tears, meniscus tears, PCL strains or osteoarthritis all can occur regardless of your age or gender. Plus, insurance pays for most traditional knee treatments such as cortisone shots or gel (Hylyoronic Acid) shots. Why insurance does not pay for stem cell therapy shots yet is still a topic of great debate.
Unfortunately, the volume of people getting partial knee replacements or total knee replacements due to their knee pain is at an all-time high.
But what if there was a better way?
Not that long ago, knee joint replacement seemed like the things that were from ‘Star Trek’ or Twilight Zone days. Meaning so advanced that it was science fiction. Now, the orthopedic surgeons line you up in assembly-line fashion and they ‘crank out’ tremendous volumes of joint repairs or joint replacements with each day they perform surgery.
For generations, science fiction and fantasy stories alike have delved into the idea of fountains of youth, reversing aging, and more. But what if we told you our bodies produce the very material we need to restore function and repair itself all on its own?
No, this isn’t the Twilight Zone. This is stem cell therapy, an increasingly popular treatment option prescribed by knee pain doctors in and around Ohio and around the nation.
Scientists have spent the past few decades studying the potential of stem cells to help our bodies repair and heal on their own, often negating the need for invasive, costly and sometimes dangerous surgical procedures.
And while this option isn’t’ right for everything and everyone, in many cases it is a Godsend.
The human body is an amazing biological machine. It can heal from some of the most traumatic injuries and conditions. Yet as we age the ability to restore and regenerate dampens. Knee pain doctors are now finding that this innovative approach to treatment can (and often does) restore the body’s natural ability to overcome injury and other ailments.
Knee Pain Doctor: what are stem cells?
Other than the “Next frontier in medicine,” Stem cell injection for knee pains is a medical marvel. These cells can be likened to the building blocks of our bodies, able to generate a variety of cell types and tissues (such as muscle, tendon, ligament, cartilage, and bone).
The term “stem cell” is surprisingly broad: it covers an entire range of undifferentiated cells. We use umbilical cord stem cells for joint pains. Think about it: brain cells and blood cells are completely different, but they can still come from the same type of originating cell.
These cells can be sampled from various places in our bodies during our lives and then encouraged to follow a specific biological path on which they differentiate into the types of cells your body needs to repair or replace those that are unhealthy, damaged or diseases.
Imagine, if you will, a pile of LEGOS. By themselves, simple little blocks that can fit into any number of shapes. But once you start piecing them together, they follow a design and fit snugly with the other blocks to make this design happen. Stem Cells are incredibly similar. They ‘branch’ into different ‘leaves’ of our physiology to complete the puzzle for a healthier, more vibrant you.
So, where do we get them? And just what are some of their medical benefits? Keep going, I’m almost there!
Stem Cell Sources Recommended by Knee Pain Doctors
Our bodies are packed full of stem cells. Even now, regardless of your age! Bone marrow, especially in our legs, is chock full of them. However, these types of stem cells have a few issues. Adult stem cells are present, but at significantly lower numbers as you age. The greater the number of cells to help your body heal than the better.
So what stem cells work best?
Those developed during the miraculous process of growing and birthing a child. Think about it for a moment: we start off as a single clump of cells that then begins to rapidly divide and change until more and more features begin to develop– ears, nose, eyes, and more.
Buckle in, ‘cause we’re going to visit some controversy before laying any fears to rest.
Embryonic Stem Cells – unethical – illegal in the USA, and not used.
Many people oppose stem cells on the basis that some of the best stem cells are available from embryos. The further you go back in the development, the more ‘pure’ (or undivided/undifferentiated) the cell.
The growing scientific interest in studying stem cells has led to a myriad of ethical concerns and conversations, some of which involving what constitutes a “person” and growing what may be defined as human life in a petri dish or lab.
One of the moral concerns is whether scientists may have an incentive to grow embryos in their labs only to harvest stem cells from them for research and medical use. The good news is that there are laws against this.
Let us say this first: the stem cells used in stem cell therapy are not gathered this way. There are many types of human stem cells, and science is only just scratching the surface. The traditional practice was to harvest from the autologous (hip or adipose) amniotic. However, a newly discovered and increasingly popular source is an umbilical cord.
Umbilical Cord Stem Cells – an ethical and effective solution
The words may make some feel a bit squeamish, but neither mother nor baby is harmed in this process. Umbilical cord stem cells are found in the biological waste (umbilical cord) that is otherwise just discarded or thrown out at the hospital.
So how does banking umbilical cords work?
For those parents willing, an agreement is formed with the delivering hospital to “collect” and make umbilical cord tissue (and by extension stem cells) available for medical use. Both the hospital and blood bank ensure proper equipment and protocol are in place during delivery and that the tissue is tested and deemed safe for use.
During delivery, the doctor severs the umbilical cord between mother and child, which is then usually discarded as bio-waste. When stem cells are to be preserved, however, there is a minor change in this process. Instead of just snipping the cord, the doctor will clamp both ends before cutting the cord away. A nurse then takes the cord from the doctor and inserts a needle to pull out the blood stored within– stored and chock full of stem cells. The blood is then carefully packed away and sent to partnering blood banks where it may be used for: scientific research, treatment for any individual who needs it, or private storage for only the family to use.
Stem cells from umbilical cord blood have been proven to be highly effective for a number of treatment scenarios including knee pain and degenerative joint conditions. These cells are often able to be stored for around fifteen years.
Conditions of the Knee Treatable with Stem Cell Therapy
Ranking among the most common on knee injuries and underlying causes of knee pain is a torn meniscus. Knee doctors advise that this injury is most often caused by a forceful rotation or twisting of the knee while under the weight of your body. This condition can cause knee pain, swelling, inflammation, and joint stiffness. Common indicators of the condition include a popping sensation, pain (especially when rotating the knee), reduced mobility of the joints, stiffness and swelling.
Osteoarthritis (OA) of the Knee
Also known by its abbreviation “OA”, osteoarthrosis is a common disease that can impact the knee joint and is usually seen in both senior citizens and the middle-aged population.
This disease often impacts the entire joint, with impacted tissues including ligament, bone, cartilage and other associated tissues. Because of the extent of damage over time, OA is the largest cause of disability for those over 50.
While traditional treatment of OA largely focuses on the management of symptoms, stem cell therapy involves helping the body to actually heal, remediating the underlying causes.
Not Just for Knee Pain
We’re pleased to share that our team has helped countless local area residents improve the quality of their life through stem cell therapy for knee pain. But stem cell therapy has been studied as a potentially useful therapeutic option for the treatment for a broad range of medical issues and conditions. We only treat chronic pain, but given their regenerative properties, stem cells may prove beneficial in the future for the following:
- Neurons damaged by Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, stroke, or other neurological problems could be replaced.
- Patients with diabetes could use stem cells to produce insulin
- Heart muscle cells could be repaired after heart attacks
- Damaged organ tissue could be repaired
- Bone marrow transplants help patients suffering from blood cancers like Leukemia
***Once again, we only treat chronic pains and not the listed above conditions. We’re providing this information for educational purposes only and we make no claims as to the efficacy of this treatment for the above conditions***
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) tells us that, theoretically, “there’s no limit to the types of diseases that could be treated with stem cell research. Given that researchers may be able to study all cell types via embryonic stem cells, they have the potential to make breakthroughs in any disease.”
When it comes to our muscles and bones, stem cells have the potential to treat the following:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Disogenic back pain
- Facet arthritis
- Partial rotator cuff tears
- Labral Tears
- Mild to moderate osteoarthritis
- Partial ligament tears for ACL and PCL
- Partial meniscal tears
- Augmented ACL or PCL reconstruction
- Tendon inflammation
- Partial tendon tear
- Muscle strains/sprains
- Articular cartilage injuries
- Congenital hip deformities
In other words, stem cells can treat a myriad of ailments from your head to your toes.
Stem cells have been used to treat cancer for years. We call it bone marrow transplants but the essential part that does the work in a transplant such as this are the stem cells. In fact, people flock to Mexico for various treatments including cancer (see Chipsa Hospital Reviews) and insurance will not pay, but the positive results seem to speak for itself because people seem to come up with a way to pay for the Chipsa Hospital costs.
The gist of stem cells is that they replace damaged or aged cells with new vibrant cells before replicating expansively. These treatments take advantage of our body’s ability to heal itself before cranking that ability to the max.
Imagine: a torn meniscus healed in a fraction of the time. Osteoarthritis stopped and even reversed. In the words of the immortal Back To The Future Doc Brown, Great Scott! The possibilities are endless.
Traditional Knee Pain Treatments Compared
Some of you may be asking how stem cell therapy stacks up against traditional treatments such as knee replacement surgery.
Patients considering stem cell therapy generally fall into three categories:
- They want a less invasive procedure and to avoid the complications that can arise from the more invasive
- They are seeking an overall improvement to their quality of life
- They recognize the potential for further ‘degeneration’ of their body after surgery, and would rather harness their natural regenerative properties.
Traditional treatments vary based on your condition and its severity. Aside from stem cell therapy, you’ll rarely find the same treatment for a torn rotator cuff in your shoulder that you would a knee suffering from osteoarthritis. Most traditional treatments, however, will have one thing in common: surgery. Whether to put in screws, replace with artificial joints, or more, many musculoskeletal disorders are best helped by rather invasive procedures– and they aren’t failsafe.
Sometimes traditional procedures fail; other times they degenerate over time or don’t provide full relief from pain. Keep in mind you would also have recovery after the procedure and physical therapy to adapt to the changes. With any invasive procedure, you also run the risk of developing an infection.
Discover if You Are a Candidate for True Relief Today
Like many treatments, stem cell therapy is not a cure-all and does not work for everyone. The best person to determine your eligibility is a stem cell therapy practitioner. We take the time to make sure you get the most appropriate treatment.
During a consultation, we will take a close look at your medical history, symptoms and more. This includes any X-rays, MRIs and any other diagnostics associated with your condition.
Once they have a clear picture of your complaints and goals, they’ll have an in-depth chat with you about the procedure and all your other options. They want to make sure you are making an informed decision — and the decision that is best for you and your health. It is imperative that you are completely honest with the doctor; you can also ask any questions or discuss concerns.
Don’t let knee pain impact your quality of life. New advancements in stem cell therapy may mean you no longer have to suffer in silence. Harness the restorative properties of your body today.
Call us and set up a consultation to learn more. We would love to find out how we can help you get back on the golf course or spend the day at the beach with the grandkids…with less pain or possibly even pain-free!