Around 25% of the adults are suffering from knee pain across the world. Are you one of them or any of your acquaintances suffering from knee pain? Here’s how to self-check yourself: – there’s extreme pain in your knee, extreme swelling, inability to straighten the leg or hearing a popping sound. These are some of the common symptoms of knee pain. If avoided for long period of time, this uneasiness can pose a threat to your wellbeing.

Before jumping into the treatment, let us understand what causes knee pain.

Knee pain can be caused by numerous reasons, namely, injury to the knees, such as a ruptured ligament or cartilage or dislocated kneecap. Medical conditions can also lead to knee pain, such as arthritis, gout, etc.

Now that you are aware of the reasons, let us find out the mechanism behind this novel therapy.

WHY STEM CELL THERAPY?

While there are numerous over-the-counter medicines which only eases the symptoms without actually  working on the cause, there are expensive knee replacement surgeries which surely burns you out financially. In the quest to find some revolutionary treatment, scientists and researchers have discovered this novel regenerative stem cell therapy, which aims at being reliable and accessible for everyone in the future.

Regenerative therapies uses the patient’s stem cells to generate tissues similar to the damaged tissue. While the name itself sounds sophisticated, the process, however, is less invasive. Mesenchymal stem cells are isolated from a targeted source on the patient’s body by a skilled medical professional. Then, these cells are cultured to produce bigger number of cells to be used as injection. These cells are injected directly in the knee area, where it is expected to accelerate the regrowth of damaged tissues.

What to expect?

Patients have to have realistic expectation from this therapy. Here’s what to expect:-

  • Reduced inflammation.
  • Strengthening body’s immune system.
  •  Rebuilding of damaged tissues.

HOW MUCH DOES STEM CELL THERAPIES FOR KNEE PAIN COSTS?

Don’t worry! We’ve got your back. Different clinics charge different amounts, some quotes for knee pain therapies are as low as 5000$ and can range up to 20000$, depending upon the frequency of check ups required post-treatment as well as how many joints they are treating at the same time.

IS IT REALLY EFFECTIVE?

Now that the procedure and the costs associated with stem cell therapy is clear, the next big question arises how effective is this therapy ?

Pain relief and functional improvement of the knee are the sole criteria for knee pain treatment. Studies have shown that insertion of Mesenchymal stem cells archives better outcomes when implanted at early stage of osteoarthritis. Most patients develop osteoarthritis at the middle and last stage, for whom this regenerative therapy with MSCs had no significant efficacy and was not conducive of recovery.

The inflammatory response is known as one of the causes of pain. MSCs can release anti-inflammatory factors, thereby relieving pain. With the release of these anti-inflammatory factors, MSCs can speed up the recovery of renal function by inhibiting the production of interferon-gamma, tumor necrosis factor, etc.

Overall, findings have shown great potential in using MSCs for knee pain treatment. The human body has commendable tolerance for MSCs and don’t declare any molecular war on the stem cells.

CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH MSCs:-

The future prospects outweigh the drawbacks as of now, still there are quite a few challenges that regenerative stem cells therapy has to go through.

At this moment, there is no standardization of the procedures and materials used as it is still in it’s preliminary stage of development.

One of the major challenges of MSCs in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis is the unsustainable cellular and healing cartilage phenotype of differentiated chondrocytes. Studies reported on the transient secretion of type II collagen from the MSCs, followed by the up-regulated expression of collagen type X, matrix metalloproteinase and alkaline phosphatase activity, thus indicating a shift from the chondrogenic to a hypertrophic phenotype that precedes osteogenesis, a phenomenon that does not normally occur amongst the chondrocytes found in the hyaline cartilage in the joints.

Highly skilled professionals and technicians are essential for maintaining a standard protocol for isolation, culturing and implantation of stem cells under sterilized conditions in order to prevent any order of contamination.  

While stem cell therapy are considered to be a boon in curing some presently incurable diseases, the costs of such treatments are considerably high as of now. The therapy are not made available to common people, as they are still under clinical trials after which the results will be strictly reviewed. After proper inspection and regulation, the therapy will be accessible to everyone, which may happen in a couple of years!

THE TAKEAWAY:-

The multipotency of MSCs, combined with it’s immunomodulatory properties and ease of isolation highlight the potential use of MSCs for treating several degenerative disorders. Such indications are made on the basis of initial findings, however, more detailed and precise research are needed to recommend this therapy clinically. Further, follow-ups on the development of stem cell therapy will be made on this page.  So stay tuned to receive such updates.

SOURCES :-

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8212446/
https://www.google.com/amp/s/bioinformant.com/stem-cell-therapy-for-knees/amp/

Rajabzadeh N, Fathi E, Farahzadi R. Stem cell-based regenerative medicine. Stem Cell Investig. 2019;6(19) doi: 10.21037/sci.2019.06.04. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]

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