Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee is a chronic disease that affects all genders, ages and races. Symptoms may include joint pain, stiffness and tenderness. As a degenerative disease of the connective tissue, it mainly affects the articular cartilage. As the cartilage substance decreases, the bone surface may also become affected. This results in development of osteophytes (bone spurs) and direct bone-bone contact. Due to the stiffness of the joint you will try to avoid pain by minimizing joint movement, which leads to muscle weakening and laxity of the ligaments.
OA may be the result of arthritis, sports injuries, tendon strains, sprained ligaments, muscle injuries and more. Knee problems can interfere with many of your daily activities such as participating in sports or simply getting up from a chair or walking. Stem Cell Therapy may be a viable option for you vs traditional Orthopedic Surgery.
What are Stem Cells?
The human body is made of billions of specialized cells that form specific organs like the brain, skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints and bone. These cells regenerate daily from stem cells, however if you have an injury the degenerative process exceeds the bodies normal regenerative ability. This decrease will cause weakness, pain and less function to the knee. The stem cells, that are most effective in assisting your musculoskeletal healing (tendon, ligament, cartilage and bone) are found in the bone marrow. These stem cells, known as mesenchymal stem cells or MSC’s are essential to your successful stem cell therapy.
How are Stem Cells obtained?
A procedure that involves simply an injection of your own natural cells in an outpatient setting may be an option for you. The procedure is done in the Operating room under sterile technique. You will be given a general anesthesia and placed in the Prone position (face done.) The stem cells will be harvested from the iliac crest (hip bone). This procedure is well tolerated as patients state that there is very little pain. The Stem Cells are then processed leaving a concentrated sample of stem cells. These very specific Stem Cells are then injected into your knee to help the healing process begin.
Recovery Time and Post Operative Care
Following this Outpatient procedure, most patients are able to resume their normal activities with some slight restrictions. Refrain from any “high impact” activities for 2 weeks but you may continue all other activities and may be weight bearing in good supportive shoes. Do not golf until 6 weeks after your procedure. Dr. Hayter will advise you of any further restrictions prior to your discharge from the hospital.
Post operatively you may be a little sore especially after the numbing agent wears off, in about 2 hours. You will be given a Narcotic Pain medication and can take Tylenol for pain. Do not take Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, Meloxicam or Naproxen for at least 8 weeks after your procedure.
You may use ICE on the donor site (Hip bone) but DO NOT USE ICE on the Stem Cell injection site. The nursing staff will give you additional instructions prior to your discharge from the hospital.