FAQs Stem Cell Therapy for Knee Pain in Colorado
The Colorado Clinic has found that stem cell therapy can be very effective in solving knee problems, including those related to joint and cartilage damage or degeneration. The regenerative powers of stem cells when combined with platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy can enhance healing and reduce pain and inflammation. Learn more by reading our FAQs on stem cell therapy for knee problems.
What are stem cells?
Stem cells are powerful agents that have regenerative powers that can be used to treat those with ligament, joint, cartilage, and other types of damage associated with knee problems. Stem cells are highly adaptable, which means they can become ligament, bone, cartilage or other types of cells. This makes them especially useful in treating various musculoskeletal problems, such as those associated with damage or injury to the knee. Most often stem cells are harvested from bone marrow found in the hip region.
What is PRP?
The initials PRP stand for platelet rich plasma. PRP contains powerful growth factors that have been found to speed up the healing process. PRP therapy involves drawing blood from a patient, separating the plasma from blood, and then injecting the isolated PRP solution into affected area, such as a knee joint.
How does stem cell therapy work?
Stem cells, which are separated from the patient’s bone marrow after the marrow has been harvested, are injected into the area being treated. Often PRP is also injected. Together these two solutions work to promote healing in the knee. PRP contains important growth factors, which speed up the healing process, while stem cells are able to diversify and adapt in order to become specific types of cells while they then work towards creating new cells.
What are the steps in stem cell therapy for knee problems?
Initially, bone marrow is harvested. This is usually taken from the patient’s hip in a process that is fast and relatively pain-free. Blood is also taken from the patient. Usually it is drawn from their arm. Both the bone marrow and blood are taken to a laboratory where they are placed in a centrifuge. The centrifuge separates the stem cells in the bone marrow and the platelet rich plasma (PRP) from the blood.
Once this is done and the solutions are prepared the doctor injects the PRP and the stem cells into the knee area. This is done using advanced imaging, which allows the physician to inject the solutions directly into the damaged area, allowing for optimum results. This entire process takes less than one day. The patient may return within the week to receive another injection of PRP in order to enhancement the effect of the stem cells and to promote the healing process.
How is stem cell therapy different from other types of therapy used to treat knee problems?
Depending on the severity and type of knee problem, there are various other approaches that a medical professional can take. The most radical treatment for a knee problem would be knee replacement. This is exceptionally invasive and the rehabilitation process in involved and lengthy.
Orthoscopic surgery, which is less invasive than joint replacement surgery, may be an option in some cases. This is still more involved and invasive than stem cell treatments. Also, patients with knee damage may be given drug therapy, which will not heal the injury, but it will often reduce pain and inflammation.
Yes, many times stem cell and PRP therapy may be used in conjunction with drug treatment or with orthoscopic surgery. However, stem cell and PRP therapy, which utilizes the body’s natural healing properties and process, may also be used on its own, depending upon the type of injury and damage.
Are there any risks involved with this type of therapy?
Stem cell and RPP therapy for knee problems carries an extremely low amount of risk. The most common risk is that associated with infection, which may occur at the injection sites.
What are the advantages of this type of treatment?
At the Colorado Clinic, we have found that there are many advantages to utilizing stem cell and PRP therapy rather than drug therapy or surgery. Unlike drug therapy, stem cell treatments promote healing while reducing inflammation. Unlike surgery, stem cell therapy is relatively noninvasive, risk free, and less complicated.