Stem Cell Therapy for Joint Pain in Monroeville, PA
What is Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cell therapy for joint pain uses the body's natural repair mechanisms and growth factors to promote healing. Thanks to advances in medical technology, stem cells injections can be used to help patients get past debilitating joint pain. Before stem cell therapy was available, treatment options for joint pain were limited to steroid injections, joint replacement alternatives and physical therapy. The goal of stem cell therapy is to deliver and control the behavior of adult stem cells to restore bone and cartilage that has been damaged by disease or injury.
Stem cell therapy is performed by extracting stem cells from the body, purifying them and injecting them back into the damaged area. These stem cells - called mesenchymal stem cells - are used to treat joint pain because they have cartilage-regenerating properties. Mesenchymal stem cells have anti-inflammatory properties—similar to cortisone and steroid shots—although stem cells restore degenerated tissue while also providing pain relief. Some physicians may use platelet-rich plasma for this procedure instead of stem cells.
How Does it Work?
As cartilage wears down, bones can rub against one another, causing pain, stiffness and a loss of mobility. Load-bearing joints such as the knees and hips are often the first to feel the ravages of the disease. The exact cause of joint pain is not known, but factors such as age, obesity , injury and genetics all play a role in its progression. The physician will start the procedure by harvesting mesenchymal stem cells from the bone marrow in the hip or from tissue in the stomach. The marrow is extracted using a special needle that passes through the cortex of the bone into the marrow cavity. The physician decides the source of the stem cells on a case-by-case basis.
Once the stem cells have been extracted, the bone marrow is placed in a centrifuge where it is spun so the stem cells become highly concentrated. The stem cells are then re-injected into the injured tissues using advanced imaging guidance. Stem cell injections also include nutrients that help lubricate joints and tendons, easing pain and restoring mobility. The doctor injects the fluid into the damaged area and uses a light to harden the liquid into a stable gel. The stem cells within the gel multiply to form new cartilage to replace the injured tissue.
There is minimal recovery from a stem cell treatment—patients sometimes feel soreness in the area that was treated, and slight bruising may occur. Following treatment, most patients experience complete relief from their pain. In the case of tendon and ligament injuries, the results are generally permanent. In the case of joint arthritis, the number of treatments depends on the severity of the joint pain. Mild arthritis may not need another round of treatment, but more advanced arthritis typically requires a repeat course of treatment, usually within one to three years.
Who is it for?
Stem cell therapy is a viable alternative for those who are facing surgery or joint replacement. It is typically used for larger joints and for patients which chronic tendon issues that are resistant to other treatments. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis, and the majority of patients are able to return to normal activities within 24 hours.
Because stem cells come from the patient, there is no risk of rejection or infection. Patients are usually able to return to normal activity immediately following the procedure. Through stem cell therapy, patients can avoid painful and lengthy rehabilitation periods that would typically be used to restore strength, mobility and range of motion.
In most cases, patients respond favorably to one round of treatment. However, two to three treatments may be needed in severe cases. On average, most patients start to see signs of improvement within six to eight weeks after the procedure. Patients will typically feel less overall pain, an ability to do more activity before pain sets in, and/or faster recovery from pain.
Request more information about stem cell therapy for joint pain today. Call (724) 915-1049 or contact Dr. Emma McGowan online.
Medical Wellness Associates
Jeannette, PA 15644
8:00 am - 7:30 pm
Tue: 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Wed: 8:00 am - 7:30 pm
Thu: 8:00 am - 5:30 pm
Fri: 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Sat: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm