What is the effectiveness of stem cell therapy, and how long does stem cell therapy last for knees? One study of patients with the degenerative knee condition osteoarthritis suggests that mesenchymal stem cell therapy could produce improvement for as long as five years. Patients in the study experienced the steady destruction of knee cartilage due to their osteoarthritis and received a transplant of mesenchymal stem cells in the affected area.
Each of the patients in the study experienced improved knee comfort five years after they were last injected. However, the study suggests that deterioration sets back in after a time and that additional stem cell transplants would eventually be required.
So now that you are aware of the effectiveness of mesenchymal stem cells for those with knee pain, namely osteoarthritis, we will explore these stem cells a bit more.
Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy Is Increasingly Popular
Stem cells stimulate the creation of new cells in our bodies. Division of stem cells can create either:
- Additional stem cells.
- Cells created for a specialized function, such as creating joint cartilage, heart muscle, or some other specific feature of the body.
Stem cells split into what is referred to as daughter cells, some of which will have a specialized purpose such as creating cartilage, brain cells, or another form of cell that the body requires for normal function. In most cases of stem cell therapy as a treatment for knee osteoarthritis, stem cells will be transplanted in order to create new cartilage or help maintain existing cartilage.
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Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy Is Comparatively Safe
The term “stem cells” is too vague to be the basis for any generalizations. Different types of stem cells vary in their effectiveness as a treatment option, and mesenchymal stem cells are among the safest, most commonly used forms of therapeutic stem cells, according to Bioscience Reports.
Mesenchymal stem cells are derived from adult bodies, as opposed to embryonic stem cells, which are taken from fetuses that are only days old. Different stem cell types have proven more or less effective when administered for treatment of certain conditions, and mesenchymal stem cells have proven effective in minimizing the effects of:
- Ailments caused at least in part by inflammation.
- Immune system deficiencies.
- Degenerative diseases, knee osteoarthritis among them.
Those considering stem cell therapy to reduce pain and increase function in their knees should be encouraged by published findings regarding the efficacy and safety of mesenchymal stem cells to restore and maintain knee cartilage.
The Added Benefits of Studying Stem Cells
The more that researchers and scientists study stem cells, the greater their capacity for implementing effective stem cell treatments becomes. There are added benefits of testing and observing the treatment potential of different stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells included.
Some of the possible beneficial outcomes of studying stem cells are:
- Improved understanding of how diseases develop through direct observation of stem cell multiplication, which could lead to more intelligent, targeted treatment plans.
- An improved ability to test new drugs and their effects on diseases and cell development without risking human lives.
These benefits are an additional incentive to continue studying, testing, and implementing various stem cell therapies. For those with osteoarthritis in one or both knees, they should take solace in the fact that mesenchymal stem cells are readily available as a form of treatment.
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Osteoarthritis Wreaks Havoc on One’s Life, and Stem Cells May Help Treat It
Osteoarthritis is the foremost cause of disability when viewed on a global scale, and early returns from treating osteoarthritis of the knee with stem cells have proven safe and effective. This finding reinforced the fact that alternative procedures for addressing osteoarthritis of the knee, such as joint replacement, can lead to potentially serious complications.
A roundup of studies shows that patients reported positive outcomes after receiving stem cell injections for osteoarthritis. In addition, an examination of the knee through X-ray and other diagnostic methods confirmed improvement in the condition of patients who underwent stem cell injections affecting their knees, according to the same roundup of studies.
The examination period for these patients was at both 24 and 48 months, and at each point, the majority of study participants reported an overall improvement in the health and pain level of their osteoarthritic knee(s).
*The information within this article is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Please speak to a medical professional to diagnose and address specific conditions.