CAN LEAD TO KNEE OSTEOARTHRITIS
What is it?
Osteoarthritis is a disease of the synovial joints that affects all the components of the involved joints and is characterized by cartilage loss, subchondral bone changes, synovial inflammation and meniscal degeneration. Almost 250 million people around the world suffer from this condition. It has multiple causes as age, past traumatisms or hereditary factors. Treatment is usually symptomatic, as osteoarthritis is considered a progressive, degenerative disease. Medications such as non steroidal antiinlfamatories are the most commonly used. Steroids and anesthetics are used in the intraarticular therapies. Light exercise is usually recommended. Finally, when everything else fails, knee replacement arises as the only therapy left.
Presentation of knee osteoarthritis varies widely depending on the severity of the damage and some individual factors such as weight and age. It typically presents in patients older tan 50 years old, related to morning stiffness of the knee that usually last for more than 30 minutes, with swelling, limitation of movements and joint cracking. All of the symptoms do not necessarily have to be present at the same time, thus, high suspicion of the health care professional is needed to establish the diagnosis.
Stem cell treatment for Knee
Stem cell treatment has emerged as an alternative to surgery, given it’s less invasive approach with shorter recovery times after the procedure. Results have shown improvements in functional scores, free walking pain and quality of life.
There are two ways to apply this therapy: intraarticular injections, usually take less time and are less painful, infection risk is lower and recovery time is faster. The other way is via arthroscopy. This requires an operating room and anesthesia, and recovery time is usually longer.
Mesenchymal stem cell therapy has been researched in osteoarthritis treatment, and good results have been observed. Cells have been shown to secrete some chondrogenic factors. Besides this, mesenchymal stem cells have immunomodulatory effects that prevent proinflammatory T cell proliferation and inhibiting monocyte maturation, providing anti infammatory effects on the joint.
Along with these effects, mesnechymal stem cells also express cytokines that stimulate your own chondrocytes enhancing local tissue repair.
Thinking in making things easier for our patients, we work here with intraarticular applications done by expert orthopedists or sports medicine physicians. The duration of the procedure varies base don the amount of joints that need to be assessed, but you will be in the procedures room for approximately 30 to 40 minutes. After the procedure you may feel some pain and swelling in the treated joints that can be treated with paracetamol. You should try to avoid NSAIDS and steroids as they could interfere with cell activity. This pain may last for 3 to 7 days. In the first days you should get some rest and then begin light exercise, trying to avoid activities that cause you too much pain.
Results are usually seen after 3 to 6 months of receiving the therapy, mainly in pain and functional scores as WOMAC, Lysholm or IKDC scores. Research has shown that the effect of the therapy last for more tan 2 years, and some have shown results even 5 years after being treated.