There was a time when the physicians used to recommend NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), especially aspirin to reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack. However,
Is It Possible to Repair the Irreparable Knee Arthritis? – Regenerative Cellular Medicine Says Yes!
Arthritis pain and swelling in your knees? Are you looking for alternate treatments like steroid injections or surgery? Here comes our non-surgical regenerative cell therapy to help repair the irreparable knee and regain mobility.
What is Knee Arthritis?
Knee arthritis is one of the most common causes of knee pain and inflammation. There are varied forms of knee arthritis. The most common is osteoarthritis, followed by rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis, otherwise termed as wear-and-tear arthritis, is a degenerative condition where the cartilage gradually wears away. Cartilage provides a natural protective cushioning effect between the joints. Wear and tear of cartilage cause the joint bones rub against each other and get exposed, leading to pain and inflammation.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks itself. It affects the knees by damaging the cartilage and softening the bone.
You may experience the following symptoms in the early stages of knee arthritis, including:
- Pain especially while straightening or bending the knees or during weightlifting
- Swelling due to fluid accumulation in the joint
- Stiffness due to prolonged sitting or when you get up from the bed
- Limited range of motion
- Warmth sensation
- Cracking noise while climbing the steps
Patients usually report a long duration of mild symptoms that may become severe with sudden changes.
At the later stage, the knee muscles around the affected portion weaken, and you may see changes in knee shape. This condition is termed as joint deformity where the knees may later point inwards or outwards. Additionally, there will be constant pain with or without activity.
Females are more prone to be affected by knee arthritis, compared to males. Knee arthritis affects people in varied ways, where the symptoms may differ from one another. The common factors that cause knee arthritis include:
• Ageing – Knee arthritis affects elders comparatively. However, it can affect even younger individuals.
• Obesity – Overweight condition puts heavy pressure on the knees. Hence as time goes on, cartilage will break down due to extra weight creating pressure in the knee joint.
• Hereditary factors – People at a young age are getting affected with knee arthritis due to the defect in the gene responsible for collagen production. Collagen fibre along withelastin, proteoglycans and glucosaminoglycan forms cartilage matrix, which cushions the joint.
• Family history
• Knee injury due to its overuse– Especially athletes and labourers who frequently damage their joints, bones, tendons, and ligaments due to overuse of knees are more prone to knee arthritis.
• Other metabolic disorders – Iron overload as well as excess secretion of growth hormone increases the risk to develop knee arthritis.
• Vitamin D and Calcium deficiency
The preliminary diagnosis of knee arthritis starts with a physical examination and an X-ray test. In severe cases, the physician may recommend M.R.I.Test for a detailed study of the bones, cartilage, and soft tissues. The physician will also recommend a blood test or the synovial fluid examination to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis.
Treatment for knee arthritis includes both surgical and non-surgical procedures which aim to improve the strength and function of joints by controlling the symptoms and avoid further joint damage.
Initial treatment includes
• R.I.C.E. Formula (Rest, Ice therapy, Compression, and Elevation) as a home treatment to limit the activities that may aggravate the symptoms.
• Medications such as analgesics aim to reduce the pain, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) helps in reducing pain and inflammation. But its consumption for a long time leads to potential side effects including heart, gastrointestinal, and kidney problems.
• Hyaluronic acid is a type of lubricating fluid present in the knee joint. Hence, the physician may recommend hyaluronic acid injection for better joint flexibility. Administration of corticosteroid injections into the knee provides short-term relief for only 1-3 weeks by reducing inflammation, but they have systemic and local adverse side effects.
• Activity modification such as reducing activities like knee bending and climbing stairs may help in slowing down the arthritis development. Lifestyle changes that aim at reducing the overall weight may prevent the condition from getting worse. Physicians may recommend physical therapy, muscle strengthening exercises, or using assistive devices like canes, once you are relieved from knee pain.
• Surgical methods include joint distraction, knee arthroscopy, knee osteotomy, and partial or total joint replacement. Your physician may recommend these options if non-surgical methods do not yield any improvement. But joint replacement surgery is only considered as the last resort since it involves an extensive rehabilitation period after the surgery and there may be a repetitive chance of joint replacement in the future.
Here comes regenerative cellular treatment which can be a potential alternative to surgery. Platelet-Rich Plasma (P.R.P.) therapy for knee arthritis provides a one-stop solution to your long-lasting symptoms by restoring normal structure and function. You can see significant improvement in 2-4 weeks after undergoing P.R.P. therapy.
A research study published in the journal Arthroscopy revealed that P.R.P. injections were significantly more effective than hyaluronic acid injections by providing long term pain relief with improved joint function. Hyaluronic acid can only lubricate the knee joint, but it cannot treat cartilage loss, unlike P.R.P. therapy .
Another scientific study revealed that regenerative cell therapy might provide better pain relief compared to NSAIDs drugs and corticosteroid injections .
Compared to corticosteroid injections, P.R.P. therapy provides more long-term relief from joint pain and enhances the quality of life in a shorter duration. People think that P.R.P. treatment is just like cortisone. But it is not the fact. Long-term use of cortisone injections will ultimately suppress the body’s natural healing mechanism and end up with knee replacement surgery. But P.R.P. therapy aims at repairing the injured tissue by stimulating your body’s healing mechanism naturally. Hence, you do not end up with surgery in the later stage .
Recently, SVF (Stromal Vascular Fraction) cell therapy in elders with grade 2-4 degenerative knee osteoarthritis is considered to be safe, rapid, and effective with significant improvement in their quality of life . Nevertheless, the use of BMAC (Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate) therapyis equally safe and beneficial .
So, no more delays! Do not let yourself feel down with knee arthritis problem. You can use your body’s natural repair mechanisms to heal irreparable tissues if you opt for regenerative cell treatment.
If you feel you may benefit from regenerative therapies, please contact us at our London clinic on 020 8 168 2000 or our Ireland clinic on 01 298 8000 to book a consultation or request a callback today! We will take a close look at your case and evaluate if you are a qualified candidate for regenerative therapy.
- Dai, WL; Zhou, AG; Zhang, H; et. al. Efficacy of Platelet-Rich Plasma in the treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Arthroscopy; 12/22/2016.
- Iijima, H., Isho, T., Kuroki, H., Takahashi, M., & Aoyama, T. (2018). Effectiveness of mesenchymal stem cells for treating patients with knee osteoarthritis: a meta-analysis toward the establishment of effective regenerative rehabilitation. N.P.J. Regenerative medicine, 3(1), 1-13.
- Forogh B, Mianehsaz E, Shoaee S, Ahadi T, Raissi GR, Sajadi S. Effect of single injection of Platelet-Rich Plasma in comparison with corticosteroid on knee osteoarthritis: a double-blind randomized clinical trial. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2015 Jul 14. [Google Scholar]
- Michalek J, Vrablikova A, Darinskas A, et al. Stromal vascular fraction cell therapy for osteoarthritis in elderly: Multicenter case-control study. J ClinOrthop Trauma. 2019;10(1):76‐ doi:10.1016/j.jcot.2018.11.010
- Di Matteo B, Vandenbulcke F, Vitale ND, et al. Minimally Manipulated Mesenchymal Stem Cells for the Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review of Clinical Evidence. Stem Cells Int. 2019;2019:1735242. Published 2019 Aug 14. doi:10.1155/2019/1735242
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