Stem Cells for Knee Pain — Houston, Cypress, Beaumont
Knee Injuries Can Be Treated with Stem Cell Injections
What are the common knee injuries/diseases?
Any injury or disease of the knee will adversely affect the joint's range of motion. The most common knee injuries/diseases include
- Knee Arthritis
- Ligament Tear
- Meniscal Tear
- Patellar Tendinitis
- Patellofemoral Instability
- Cartilage Injury
How do stem cells help in the treatment of knee pain?
Stem cells are present in all of us acting like a repair system for the body. However, with increased age sometimes the optimum amounts of stem cells are not delivered to the injured area. The goal of stem cell therapy is to amplify the natural repair system of the patient’s body.
How do you prepare for the stem cell procedure?
Preparing for the Procedure
It is important that you stop taking any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) at least two weeks before your procedure.
Preparing for a stem cell procedure is relatively easy and your doctor will give you specific instructions depending on your condition.
How are stem cells derived from bone marrow or umbilical cord blood used for treatment of knee pain?
Procedure using stem cells derived from bone marrow
The procedure begins with your doctor extracting stem cells from your own bone marrow. Bone marrow is usually aspirated from your hip region. Your doctor will first clean and numb your hip area. A needle is then introduced into an area of your pelvic bone known as the iliac crest. Bone marrow is then aspirated using a special syringe and the sample obtained is sent to the laboratory. In the laboratory, the aspirate is spun in a machine for 10 to 15 minutes and a concentrated stem cell sample is separated.
Your doctor then cleans and numbs your affected area to be treated and then, under the guidance of special x-rays, injects the stem cells into the diseased region. The whole procedure usually takes less than one hour and you may return home on the same day of the procedure.
Procedure using stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood:
The same procedure can also be performed using pre-packaged, ready-to-use umbilical cord blood. Donors undergo a rigorous screening process to meet the highest industry standards. State-of-the-art scientific technology is used to create a cellular suspension of mesenchyme cells. These cells can differentiate in different cell types such as bone, cartilage, and muscle. The product is frozen to maintain cellular integrity. No synthetic or chemical preservatives are used. UCB has been scientifically proven to have concentrations of mesenchymal cells and other cell populations necessary to stimulate the regenerative process.
What postoperative precautions must be taken?
- You will most likely be able to return to work the next day following your procedure.
- You will need to take it easy and avoid any load bearing activities for at least two weeks following your procedure.
- You will need to refrain from taking non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) for a while as this can affect the healing process of your body.
What are the risks and complications of stem cell therapy?
Stem cell therapy is generally considered a safe procedure with minimal complications, however, as with any medical procedure, complications can occur.
Some risks factors related to stem cell therapy include infection as the stem cells may become contaminated with bacteria, viruses or other pathogens that may cause disease during the preparation process.
The procedure to either remove or inject the cells also has the risk of introducing an infection to the damaged tissue into which they are injected. Rarely, an immune reaction may occur from injected stem cells.
Your knee joints need intact bone, ligaments and cartilage to help you move. When these parts begin to deteriorate or undergo an injury, you experience pain and reduced mobility. The original solutions for this issue were surgery and knee replacement. However, intensive surgery keeps athletes off the field. The recovery time for traditional procedures also keeps non-athletes from doing what they love.
Developments in modern medicine helped doctors come up with stem cell treatment, which lets you avoid open surgery. Dr. Gombera offers these innovative injections to patients in Houston, Cypress and Beaumont.
What Knee Conditions Can Stem Cell Injections Treat?
Stem cell injections relieve any knee problem that damages your cartilage, bones or ligaments. They help your knees naturally repair themselves and maintain healthy tissue. A large number of conditions that cause knee pain involve damaged tissue that needs to heal. Common knee conditions treated with stem cells include:
- Inflammatory arthritis of the knee
- Tears in your ligaments, such as an ACL tear
- Tears in your cartilage, such as a meniscal tear
- Kneecap misalignment
How Does Stem Cell Treatment Relieve Knee Pain?
In the adult body, stem cells keep tissue healthy and replace damaged and dying cells. Stem cells act like a template that can turn into the cells you need. They can develop into cartilage, bone, fat and other kinds of connective tissues.
Your knees have ligaments and cartilage that don't get as much blood as other parts of the body. Since stem cells travel through the blood, the knees don't get all the benefits of the stem cells your body makes. Old age can also affect the number of stem cells that reach your knees.
During stem cell treatment, Dr. Gombera adds extra stem cells to your knees to help them heal naturally. The new stem cells begin working to:
- Repair cartilage
- Mend partially torn tendons
- Relieve pain and inflammation
- Reduce the rate of cell death
- Decrease scar tissue
This therapy lets your body repair itself without the need for more invasive procedures. In many cases, your body can be the best surgeon of all — it just needs a little help from a treatment like stem cell injections.
Do I Need to Make Any Special Preparations Before the Procedure?
Many of the preparations required before your stem cell injections depend on your condition. Stop taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for at least two weeks before your appointment. Remember to tell Dr. Gombera about all the medications you take and your past medical history. He may advise you to take certain kinds of supplements to stimulate your stem cell growth.
How Does Dr. Gombera Use Stem Cell Injections for Knee Pain?
Before you receive stem cell therapy, you'll have a consultation with Dr. Gombera. You'll review your options and decide on the best plan of action together. If you choose to try stem cell treatment, you'll schedule an appointment for the procedure. Some patients need only one visit for the entire treatment, while others may need a few.
Once you decide on an appointment, you can follow Dr. Gombera's instructions for preparation until your visit. Stem cell treatment consists of two steps — obtaining the stem cells and injecting them. You and Dr. Gombera must first decide on the source of your stem cells:
- Your bone marrow: You can find the prime candidate for your stem cell injection inside your bones. Stem cells that come from your body have a lower risk of a bad reaction than cells from another source. In most cases, Dr. Gombera will take stem cells from your hip in a bone known as the iliac crest. He'll numb the area and extract marrow using a syringe. Within just 10 to 15 minutes in the lab, our specialists separate the stem cells from your marrow.
- Umbilical cord blood (UCB): While UCB cells have a higher chance of rejection than the stem cells in your marrow, they still work as a viable solution. All UCB used for medical procedures comes from thoroughly vetted sources. It has no added preservatives. Instead, medical suppliers freeze the UCB to keep the cells intact. When you can't get your stem cells extracted, UCB cells will help.
Once Dr. Gombera has the prepared stem cells, he'll inject them into your knee. He first cleans and numbs the area of injection. Then, he uses X-rays to find the exact location that needs stem cells. The entire process takes up to a few hours, and you can go home right after the procedure.
What Do I Need to Do After the Injections?
Most patients can return to work the day after the injections. However, you still must take care of your knee to ensure a speedy recovery and an effective treatment. Continue avoiding NSAIDs as you heal. The new cells work together with your inflammatory process to repair your tissue.
Ask Dr. Gombera about your options for pain relief after treatment. Don't do any load-bearing or physically intensive activities for at least two weeks after injections. Dr. Gombera will give you a checklist explaining what to do after your appointment. This list will include some of the precautions listed here and explain your physical therapy plan.
Does Stem Cell Treatment Cause Any Complications?
Research shows that stem cell treatment is safe and has minimal complications. However, you still have some risks to consider when you choose to receive stem cell injections for your knee pain. For instance, if the stem cells injected into your knee have pathogens like bacteria or viruses in them, the infection will spread to your knee.
In rare cases, a patient has an immune reaction to the new cells. These problems all have a low risk of happening, and Dr. Gombera will monitor you for any possible symptoms after the procedure. Contact Dr. Gombera if a non-urgent issue comes up that seems to be tied to the stem cell therapy.
The most common side effects of stem cell therapy are minor. You may feel a little pain at the injection site, which can happen with any kind of injection. Since Dr. Gombera injects the stem cells directly in your knee, you may feel some swelling and stiffness. These problems will subside as you recover.
Let Mufaddal Gombera, MD Relieve Your Knee Pain
Dr. Gombera provides a wide range of orthopedic treatments for knee, shoulder and hip pain. He has experience working with professional athletes and non-athletes who want to get back to doing what they love. Patients in the Houston, Beaumont and Cypress area can visit his office to get evidence-based pain relief. Use our booking page to schedule an appointment online, or talk to one of our office staff by calling (713) 794-3457.