Stem Cell Therapy for Joint and Tissue Repair

Stem Cell Therapy for Joint and Tissue Repair

Stem cells represent one of the significant breakthroughs in medical science over the last couple of decades. This procedure offers people suffering from a variety of medical conditions the possibility of relief from their symptoms. Although stem cells may sound innovative and cutting edge, this procedure has been around for quite some time.  

What is stem cell therapy used for?

Stem cell therapy can be used for many health conditions for which there is only limited or ineffective treatment. It can also help patients avoid or delay the need for invasive therapies and joint replacement surgeries. Some of the frequently reported benefits of this natural form of healing include shorter recovery time, lowered risks, and minimal side effects.

Stem cell injections help to regenerate damaged or worn-out tissue. A specialized type of cell found in all tissues in the body; stem cells play a vital role in the body’s healing process after an injury.  As people age, the potential for stem cell healing diminishes, and people may develop conditions that lead to pain and disability, such as osteoarthritis. Injecting stem cells into the injured or damaged area can help to relieve pain and repair damaged tissue—the cartilage in a knee or other arthritis-damaged joint, for instance. If you would like to speak with an osteoarthritis doctor in Main Line, PA, then doctors from the Premier Osteoarthritis Centers of Pennsylvania may be of help.

Where do stem cells come from?

Stem cells are gathered from a patient’s own bone marrow or adipose (fatty) tissue. Stem cells extracted from those locations are separated from other components in the blood and then injected back into the damaged tissue or joint. They can also be injected directly into the spinal fluid or bloodstream to treat specific medical conditions. 

Stem cells exist in our bodies from its very beginning. The earliest type of stem cells—embryonic stem cells—are unspecialized. When they start to mature, they adapt to their specific functions. They become the individualized cells that make up things such as our cartilage, bone, muscles, and nerves.

What do stem cells do?

Stem cells act as the “repairmen” of the body; they do the rebuilding. These workhorse cells generally travel to an injured area via the bloodstream to enlist their help in repairing the damaged tissue. Unfortunately, if the injured area has an inadequate blood supply, healing may be incomplete, or may not occur at all. The result can be chronic pain and reduced functioning.

This is true of the blood supply in joints, such as the knees, hips, and spine. Specifically, the insufficient blood supply is present in the knee’s meniscus tissue, the rotator cuff in the shoulder, the spinal discs, tendons, and ligaments. These areas may struggle to heal on their own and need help directing stem cells to the repair site.