Your knees are the largest joints in your body, so when osteoarthritis strikes, you’re left with limited mobility and considerable discomfort. Treating arthritis is tricky at best and often involves tackling the symptoms rather than the underlying breakdown of connective tissues inside your joint. Thanks to new regenerative therapies, we’re able to help your knees rebuild themselves for pain-free function.
At our practice, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Henry Small understands the potential of regenerative medicine and its applications for solving a host of orthopedic riddles, including joint pain. Through our stem cell therapy, we’re able to help patients in the Houston, Texas, area regain the freedom of movement without resorting to invasive surgeries or masking the problem with medications.
Here’s a look at how regenerative cellular therapy is fast becoming a game-changer when it comes to treating knee pain.
A growing problem
Over the past several decades, the prevalence of knee osteoarthritis (KOA) has doubled in large part due to an aging population. As we live longer, it allows more time for diseases like osteoarthritis (a progressive, wear-and-tear condition) to take hold. With KOA, the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones in your knee joint begins to break down, leaving your bones to rub together painfully. This causes inflammation, which further hampers your ability to move around freely as your joint stiffens.
Regenerative medicine — healing on a cellular level
The frustration in treating arthritis has been unlocking the regenerative puzzle. Because KOA is caused by a breakdown in your cartilage, it follows that the best way to solve the problem is to find ways to build this protective tissue back up.
Unfortunately, your cartilage lacks the resources necessary to rebuild itself‚ namely vascularization. This absence of blood vessels in your cartilage means that the tissue is unable to regenerate on its own, which is where our stem cell therapy comes in.
Stem cells are one of nature’s most amazing marvels. Most of the cells in your body are single-purpose — your skin cells exist only in your skin, as an example. Stem cells are what we call undifferentiated, which means they’re not tasked with any one area of your body. Instead, they have the incredible ability to become other cells and then multiply indefinitely as that cell.
To give you a better idea of the power of stem cells, they are most numerous and potent during embryonic development as they’re the building blocks upon which most of your body’s cells are made. Ultimately, they’re responsible for building the human body.
While we’ve long known about the power of stem cells, the difficulty has been trying to harness and redirect this power, which we are now accomplishing through our stem cell therapy.
Harnessing the power
If you have knee pain due to arthritis, the goal behind our stem cell therapy is to halt the progression of the disease and rebuild healthier tissue inside your joint. To do this, we turn to cord-blood stem cells, which are harvested from umbilical cords after healthy deliveries.
As we mentioned, stem cells are most potent during early development, which is why we turn to these cells to help you regenerate healthier tissue.
After a delivery, the cord blood goes straight to an FDA-approved lab where it’s processed for our use. We’re then able to take these powerful regenerative resources and inject them directly into your knees, where they go to work to rebuild and repair your tissue. And the newly arrived stem cells don’t do this alone — they jumpstart a powerful healing environment that calls upon existing resources inside your body, as well.
If you’d like to explore how our regenerative cellular therapy can help with your knee pain, please contact our office to set up an appointment.