Stem Cell Joint Therapy
Your bones have cartilage covering the ends that enables them to slide smoothly against one another, making movement possible. Osteoarthritis and other degenerative conditions cause this cartilage barrier to wear away, leading to increased friction between bones. The result is increasing pain, swelling and loss of mobility. One therapy used at Silicon Valley Orthopaedics to treat OA and similar conditions is stem cell joint therapy.
Stem cells are basic cells produced in your bone marrow that can transform into any cell type for use in the body: bone, skin, muscle – and cartilage. Stem cells are like the body’s own natural repair mechanism, going where they are needed to repair the body’s tissues when damaged. Cartilage is unique because it does not repair itself or regrow on its own like most other body tissues.
Stem cells have been used successfully in the treatment of many health conditions. Research is ongoing, but stem cell therapy can be used to slow the deterioration of joint cartilage and help restore healthy cartilage material. Stem cell joint therapy is typically used in combination with other joint preservation treatments by your specialist at Silicon Valley Orthopaedics.
How Does Stem Cell Joint Therapy Work?
Stem cells are harvested from a patient’s own blood, making rejection or other complications very rare. This blood is spun in a centrifuge to separate the different blood components. A solution of your own blood with a high concentration of stem cells is then injected into the arthritic joint, shoulder, hip or knee.
The high concentration of stem cells placed in the location of damaged joint cartilage goes to work right away, transforming the damaged cartilage. This process takes place over time, so results are not felt immediately. Several stem cell injections are usually recommended over a period of time to allow for repairs to take place. Patients can begin to experience less pain and swelling within a few weeks.
Stem cell joint therapy can help to produce:
- Reduced pain
- Reduced inflammation
- Better mobility and function
- Healthier joint cartilage
- Relief that reduces the need for joint replacement surgery
- Reduced dependency on pain medications
Research studies as far back as 2016 and 2018 demonstrate that stem cell joint therapy effectively relieves pain and inflammation from injury or osteoarthritis.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Stem Cell Joint Treatment?
Your specialist at Silicon Valley Orthopaedics may recommend stem cell joint treatment if you have deteriorating joint cartilage from an injury or condition that causes chronic pain and swelling that limits your mobility. Our orthopedic surgeons always prefer to preserve your natural joint components for as long as possible before recommending invasive repairs or joint replacements.
Because stem cell joint treatment uses the patient’s own stem cells, this therapy can be used by anyone, young or old. The possible side effects include slight swelling at the injection site for a day or two, but this should subside on its own. Candidates for this therapy should also realize that stem cell joint therapy is not proven to cure osteoarthritis or other degenerative joint conditions. It is simply a treatment with proven benefits for reducing pain and swelling that can help preserve your natural joint cartilage for a longer period of time. Silicon Valley Orthopaedics realizes that research into stem cell therapy for orthopedic treatments is ongoing, and our specialists are watching closely for new developments in this area of medicine.
If you have questions about stem cell joint therapy or would like to ask one of our specialists if it could help you with joint pain, contact Silicon Valley Orthopaedics at our Fremont or Foster City clinics and schedule a consultation. We also offer telehealth appointments to discuss your orthopedic needs.