Studies have shown that stem cell therapy can help reduce knee pain and improve function, but it doesn't seem to cause cartilage regrowth. stem cell treatment for joint injuries is not yet part of medical practice. No treatment ever proves to be effective. However, to the extent that patients report good results with stem cell injections, the general evidence slopes in a beneficial direction.
Studies from the Mayo Clinic, for example, indicate that while more research is needed, it is a good option for arthritis of the knee. Anecdotal reports are also positive. Patients report that it is an effective alternative to much more invasive solutions, such as arthroscopic or knee replacement surgery. Stem cell therapy may help reduce pain, but it's not a magic solution for any disease or condition.
Be wary of any doctor or clinic who claims that stem cell therapy can completely reverse or cure an orthopedic condition. Some of the most convincing evidence for the use of stem cell therapy exists for arthritis of the knee. While we cannot comment much on the use of stem cells for arthritis in other joints, each joint manifests unique results in our clinical practice, with knees showing particularly beneficial results. Group A received the standard arthroscopic procedure and group B received the arthroscopic procedure, but also received some bone marrow-derived stem cells.
In this video, Dr. Ross Hauser discusses when bone marrow aspiration or stem cell therapy would be preferred. Sometimes a patient comes up to us and suggests: “I got an injection of PRP and it didn't work, I definitely need stem cells. Stem cell therapy, also called orthobiological treatment when it comes to treating orthopedic conditions, is a special type of medical treatment that uses stem cells and growth factors to reduce pain.
However, stem cells are a special type of cell that has the potential to divide into any other type of cell found in the body, such as a liver cell or a heart muscle cell. Lamo-Espinosa et al believed that stem cells have a paracrine function and their anti-inflammatory properties contribute to pain relief. In addition, the change in IKDC score at 24 months was greater in the stem cell group than in the control group; however, these data were drawn from only 2 studies. Studies have shown that it is feasible to induce human pluripotent stem cells to differentiate into chondrocytes; therefore, stem cell therapy has become a new method for the local treatment of knee osteoarthritis.
In addition, the duration of effectiveness of up to two years from a single treatment greatly exceeds that of any other non-surgical treatment or any possible placebo effect. So how exactly does stem cell therapy work? What are the recovery times like, what conditions are treated and who can be treated? These are fundamental questions to ask yourself before embarking on a stem cell therapy course. Fifty-six patients were randomly assigned to receive stem cells and hyaluronic acid injection, while others were given hyaluronic acid injection only three weeks after their bone corrective procedure. Consumers who decide to try stem cell treatments for knee pain should research their doctor and the details of stem cell treatment.
There were no statistical differences in adverse events between the 2 groups, indicating that stem cell treatment has no obvious side effects. Kuah et al found that, relative to placebo, stem cell therapy significantly relieved pain at 3, 6 and 12 months after treatment. The only FDA-approved stem cell-based product is for stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood for cancers of the blood and other disorders. Compared to traditional methods, stem cell treatment has some superiority as a conservative treatment of knee osteoarthritis, in terms of markedly reducing pain without inducing side effects.