If drug treatment, injections, and physiotherapy do not provide satisfactory results in patients with knee osteoarthritis, surgical intervention should be considered. The rate of the knee prosthesis is gradually increasing. Even after a successful surgery, the patient needs a long and challenging recovery time. After the knee prosthesis surgery, some patients do not recover as expected. Therefore, the surgery should only be considered if all other non-surgical treatment options are exhausted.
In recent years, several studies were published, which had demonstrated the efficacy of stem cell therapy in knee osteoarthritis. Today, in the light of this scientific evidence, the stem cell therapy is widely implemented as a non-invasive method in knee osteoarthritis.
Today, the most important goal of the stem cell therapy is the regeneration of the thinned and injured cartilage tissue. The stem cells, which will be used in the treatment of the knee osteoarthritis, can be obtained from various sites. The most common source is the bone marrow of tibia or pelvis. In another method, stem cells are obtained from the fat tissue removed during the liposuction.
The obtained stem cells can be applied to the knee joint with two different methods. The most preferred method by physiatrists is the direct injection of the stem cells into the knee joint and surrounding injured tissues with the help of ultrasound. In the other method, stem cells are first let to proliferate in a special laboratory and then administered with the same method described above in the knee joint and surrounding injured tissues.
The stem cells injected into the joint and to the injured cartilage show their therapeutic effects through a few different ways. First of all, they convert themselves to cartilage cells and form a repair tissue in the injured region and stimulate the regional regenerative mechanisms. Other mechanisms are the stimulation of the vascularization and increase of the perfusion to the injured tissues, development of the connective tissue and triggering of the self-recovery mechanisms in all structures.
The stem cell injections are increasing the success rates in the treatment of the knee osteoarthritis and chondromalacia patella along with the drug treatment and physiotherapy.
Stem cell therapy can be used safely in knee arthritis, including cartilage damage, knee cap cartilage problems, internal lateral ligament, external lateral ligament, anterior cruciate ligament and posterior cruciate ligament tears, patellofemoral pain syndrome, meniscus tears and painful knee conditions such as muscle-tendon damage.