An Overview on Stem Cell Therapy for Knees
The human knee is a complex and mobile joint making it vulnerable to sports injuries and orthopedic conditions, such as osteoarthritis. Knee osteoarthritis is a common condition that limits a patient’s ability to perform daily and athletic activities because of chronic pain, swelling and inflammation. Osteoarthritis is caused by deterioration of the joint’s articular cartilage, the smooth, white substance that covers the ends of each bone, causing the bones to rub against each other. Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease with no cure, so many patients believe they must undergo a joint replacement knee repair to alleviate symptoms and return joint function. Dr. Nikhil Verma, Chicago, Westchester, Oak Brook and Hinsdale, Illinois knee specialist, offers stem cell therapy as a safe, effective and non-invasive treatment option for patients with early or moderate osteoarthritis.
Stem Cell Therapy for Knees as a Non-Invasive Knee Repair
Many patients begin knee osteoarthritis treatment with conservative measures, such as rest, modified activities, anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), weight loss and a physical therapy program. Since osteoarthritis is a progressive condition, certain patients may experience further articular cartilage deterioration even with conservative efforts. In some patients, despite this type of conventional care, symptoms may continue. For these patients, Dr. Verma may recommend stem cell therapy for knees as an alternative to knee replacement surgery.
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What is the Cost of Stem Cell Therapy?
In patients who have exhausted all conservative treatment options and are trying to delay a knee replacement, Dr. Verma may recommend a stem cell injection to promote healing and symptom reduction of the injured soft tissue or bone. Stem cell therapy with Dr. Verma costs $2,500. Since stem cell therapy is still considered experimental, insurance does not cover the procedure. All procedures require cash payment.
How Stem Cells are used as an Alternative to Knee Replacement
Adult stem cells, also known as autologous stem cells, have a natural ability to modulate inflammation and potentially stabilize or regenerate articular cartilage in arthritic joints. Stem cell therapy for knees offers a safe, effective and non-invasive alternative to knee replacement surgery in many patients suffering from arthritis. In using Autologous stem cell therapy, patients do not experience the ethical considerations associated with embryonic stem cells since adult stem cells are harvested directly from the patient’s own body.
Stem cell therapy for knees requires a bone marrow sample to be extracted from the patient, commonly from the hip region. After the bone marrow is extracted, the sample is spun in a centrifuge to separate a combination of adult stem cells, platelets and white blood cells from the red blood cells. The combination of agents is then injected into the damaged knee to decrease symptoms associated with damaged articular cartilage.
Have a question about biologic treatment? Dr. Verma answers frequently asked questions.
If you would like more information on non-invasive knee repair options, or would like to discuss stem cell therapy for knees as an alternative to knee replacement surgery, please contact the Chicago, Westchester, Oak Brook and Hinsdale, Illinois orthopedic office of knee specialist Dr. Nikhil Verma.
Biologic Therapies FAQ
- How do Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) stem cells and FlōGraft® (amniotic fluid-derived allograft) accelerate the healing process?
- Are Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) stem cells and FlōGraft® all considered regenerative therapies?
- What is FlōGraft®?
- Are all Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) stem cell therapies the same?
- Is there an age limit for Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) regenerative therapy?
- Why is Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) sometimes called a stem cell “like” therapy?
- Why doesn’t my insurance cover this treatment?