Cell therapy for treating the knee is one of the most innovative and cutting-edge therapeutic methods currently being utilized.
Stem cells could become a solution for people suffering from knee osteoarthritis. This is demonstrated by a clinical trial conducted by doctors from the University of Navarra Clinic, which tests the safety and effectiveness of high-dose stem cell infiltration in patients with knee osteoarthritis.CNN
Clinical Studies Confirm the Effectiveness of Stem Cells for Knee Osteoarthritis
Clinical studies confirm the potential of a single intervention with adult mesenchymal stem cells on knee osteoarthritis. The conclusion is that this type of treatment restores the joint, eliminating pain in 99% of the treated patients.
Mesenchymal stem cells are capable of transforming into any other cell that is part of our body. They can divide and multiply to maintain the number of stem cells in reserve through the process of self-renewal.
The Use of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Knee
For several years, researchers have been suggesting the use of these types of stem cells in the knee. This is due to their ability to replace damaged or diseased cells with new specialized cells.
These stem cells can be obtained from abdominal fat, which is the simplest and most comfortable method for the patient. These cells are then prepared as cellular concentrates to be injected into the injured area.
Knee Osteoarthritis, the Most Common Pathology
One of the conditions affecting this joint is osteoarthritis. Degeneration of hyaline cartilage characterizes this disease.
Hyaline cartilage is a specialized tissue that prevents friction between bones and allows a joint to move smoothly and fluidly. It also facilitates movement by absorbing impact.
This injury is quite common in older individuals and results in a complete loss of cartilage. At first, this disease affects only the cartilage. The resulting pain forces the patient to avoid using the knee, leading to muscle atrophy and ligament injuries, and subsequently, more pain.
Therapeutic Solutions and Stem Cells
Therapeutic solutions include mediation, physiotherapy, drug infiltration, and in some cases, even surgical intervention, where orthopedic surgeons implant artificial prosthetics.
The use of stem cells in the knee has proven to be one of the best therapeutic options, not only to alleviate pain but also to repair cartilage. Other treatments cannot provide this benefit.
Moreover, it is a less traumatic and costly process aimed at eliminating pain, improving the patient’s quality of life, and restoring their zest for life. However, is this type of therapy truly efficient?
The Science Behind Cell Therapy for Knee Treatment
In medicine, no procedure is arbitrary; every treatment must be well-justified and reliable. Stem cell therapy in the knee, as complex as it may seem, is no exception.
Initial basic studies were conducted on adults to verify the effectiveness of stem cells in the knee. The use of mesenchymal stem cells has shown particular interest in the biomedical field, especially in the field of regenerative medicine.
Researchers have summarized the benefits of Cell Therapy for Knee Treatment in three fundamental points:
As mentioned earlier, mesenchymal stem cells applied in the knee have the ability to replenish lost tissue, which is crucial in the case of osteoarthritis where there is degenerated or damaged cartilage. These cells act as replacements for those that are lost or injured.
Multipotent mesenchymal stem cells are ideal for this task. This subtype of stem cell has the ability to form specialized tissues such as cartilage or the fluid found in the joint, thereby expanding the range of movement and significantly reducing pain.
Although osteoarthritis is not an inflammatory disease like arthritis, it does produce inflammatory processes that are the main triggers of pain. For example, inflammation of the capsule surrounding the joint.
Mesenchymal stem cells can easily control this process, known as synovitis, not only through their regenerative action but also by releasing anti-inflammatory mediators such as cytokines.
Pain Reduction and Progress
Without a doubt, the main reason patients seek doctors or physiotherapists is joint pain.
Joint pain is one of the most uncomfortable and distressing experiences. Few things are as limiting as joint injuries, not only because they hinder a patient’s movement but also because the pain is so severe that patients prefer complete rest. This, in turn, can lead to generalized degeneration of the body.
Additionally, the pain is not necessarily a result of the disease reaching a critical point. Patients with different degrees of osteoarthritis express varying levels of pain. Instead, it is often due to the deterioration of the synovial membrane, the layer that covers the joint. The greater the extent of damage and inflammation to this synovial membrane, the more intense the pain.
Here, we can use these stem cells to generate anti-inflammatory agents and promote cell replacement. This not only alleviates pain but also halts disease progression by introducing healthy cells, enabling the patient to leave behind rest and resume their daily activities.
To emphasize delving deeper into the knowledge of stem cells, we invite you to read our article “What Are Stem Cells?“