Knee replacement surgery is an operation which involves cutting and removing damaged bone and cartilage from the knee and replacing it with a prosthetic joint made from metal, titanium and/or plastic. This procedure is most commonly done on patients with osteoarthritis which is a degenerative condition caused by wear and tear. Other conditions that often necessitate this operation include rheumatoid arthritis which is an autoimmune condition, and traumatic arthritis which develops after injuries to the knee.
Knee replacement surgery is rife with many complications. Only 50 % do well, 25% stay the same (no change in pain) and 25% get worse (more pain). Many patients develop damaged ligaments and occasionally suffer from nerve damage. In 5-10% of patients who undergo this surgical procedure, metal or plastic parts of the artificial joint become lose and cause complications. Sometimes patients even sustain damaged arteries which may even require a blood transfusion. These last two usually require additional surgery. Plus the most common complication is infection which is wrought with problems.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem Cell therapy is an effective treatment for painful knee conditions which can replace knee replacement surgery in many patients. It is also a proven therapy since published research shows positive results in its use for treating knees damaged by degenerative changes and trauma. Even patients with bone on bone arthritis in whom almost all the cartilage in the joint has been destroyed, have been shown to have significant improvement with this form of treatment.
Stem Cell therapy involves obtaining stem cells which can develop into new bone and cartilage tissue from the patient’s own bone marrow and concentrating them in the lab. This bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) together with Lipo (fat) aspirate, platelet rich plasma (PRP) and dextrose Prolotherapy (which is known as the Gold Standard for this treatment) is then injected back into the patient’s knee joint where they boost the body’s natural healing process. This therapy therefore aims at regenerating cartilage and other damaged tissues in the arthritic or injured joint instead of removing them.
Since the cells used in Stem Cell therapy are obtained from the patient, the probability of having an immune or allergic reaction is markedly reduced. These chances are further lowered by the fact that no additives are added to the cells during the concentrating process before they are re-injected back into the body. The risk of a local infection is less than 1% while that of disease transmission is negligible.
Side effects of Stem Cell therapy include mild soreness at the injection site for one or two days. However, this is insignificant when compared to the months of pain that total knee replacement patients endure. These patients who undergo invasive knee surgery in many cases are not able to walk without help for many weeks. In addition, they also need months of rehabilitation to regain muscle strength, balance and resume normal physical activities. This is in contrast to patients who receive Stem Cell therapy since they are able to resume normal activities after the procedure. This rapid recovery also helps prevent blood clots that often develop in those who are immobilized for long periods after knee operations.
Since Stem Cell therapy is done using local anesthesia, patients avoid the risks of general anesthesia. These risks of general anesthesia faced by those who receive total knee replacements include nausea, vomiting, allergic reactions, confusion, trauma to the teeth, vocal cords and windpipe which can lead to voice changes, croup and even death.
Patients who undergo Stem Cell therapy for painful knee conditions also have the pain from the underlying condition terminated quickly and permanently. This pain reduction often begins within a few weeks of treatment and improvements are noted as the healing process continues. However, those who receive prosthetic joints have to live with the risk of going through the same painful operation and long recovery period since the probability of the joint lasting 7- 10 years is 90-95%.
Pacific Prolotherapy and Medical Wellness Center Stem Cell Therapy
It is important to note that not all Stem Cell therapy is equal. The differences lie in the doctor’s expertise as well as the method of preparing and administering the cells since they all affect the end result.
At Pacific Prolotherapy and Medical Wellness Center, the Stem Cell therapy we offer is a combination of bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC), Lipo (fat) aspirate, platelet rich plasma (PRP) and dextrose Prolotherapy, which is known as the Gold Standard for this treatment as it uses all four kinds of proliferation therapy.
Most offices only use one or two of these instead of all four.
Peter A. Fields, MD, DC at Pacific Prolotherapy and Medical Wellness Center uses the Gold Standard for Stem Cell therapy to ensure superior results in this same-day in-office procedure. As a result, he has received recognition for effectively using regenerative medicine for treating athletes and non-athletes alike with excellent results.