If you have consistent, chronic joint pain, you may think replacement surgery is your only option. While Henry County Medical Center offers excellent surgical options, you may also want to consider a less invasive procedure that can help to improve mobility.
Our body is constantly regenerating tissues and cells to naturally heal itself. A stem cell is like a building block within the body and can be used to help heal your joints. Science is embracing the ability to collect cells from one part of the body and transplant them to another area. These cells are capable of growing and forming new tissue, like bone or cartilage to help repair a damaged area.
The use of stem cells is a growing field and has tremendous potential for healing the body. At present, stem cells are often used to help in joint repair caused from sports injuries or arthritis. They have also shown potential for stopping and reversing the degeneration of spinal discs.
When treating osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease that can affect hips, knees and even thumb joints, Mesenchymal Stem Cells have been shown to therapeutically alter the progression. Studies show improvements in joint function, increased cartilage in the affected joint and less pain.
There are many ongoing trials involving stem cells and the potential for healing and stem cell therapy is one of the most promising areas within regenerative medicine.
The biggest danger associated with stem cell injections is infections, which can be very serious. However, because the procedure is minimally invasive, the chance of infection is quite nominal.
The procedure is much faster than a replacement surgery. It’s done in an outpatient setting and normally lasts just a few hours.
While recovery from replacement surgery can be weeks or months, the recovery from a stem cell injection is minimal. You will be walking out of the procedure the same day and in a few weeks, you will begin to increase your activity level.
Is stem cell injections therapy right for you? The best way to decide is to talk to your doctor, who will work with you to determine whether physical therapy, surgery or stem cell injection therapy is the more effective option for you.