Knee replacement surgery is often recommended to people living with chronic knee pain caused by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or post-traumatic arthritis. In fact, approximately 600,000 knee replacement surgeries are performed each year. Although there can be pain reduction as a result, the procedure is highly invasive and requires extensive downtime as well as costly physical therapy treatments following surgery.
Regenerative medicine has made great strides in treating knee pain, providing an all-natural alternative to knee replacement surgery. By helping the body heal naturally, many patients either delay or avoid the need for surgery altogether.
What is Regenerative Medicine?
Regenerative medicine uses growth factors and mesenchymal cells to enhance your own healing abilities. The treatment addresses the underlying cause of your knee pain. Injections rich in cytokines collagen, proteins, peptides, and other healing components are used to target your knee pain. These natural components are used naturally by your body in the tissue regeneration process when you sustain an injury.
The cells used for injections are derived from Wharton’s jelly obtained from birth tissue found in the umbilical cord at the time of scheduled cesarean births. The donors are healthy, consenting mothers, and no harm comes to the mother or baby. Mothers are screened for infectious disease and social history to ensure only healthy cells are harvested.
Amniotic fluid injections are also available using tissue grafts derived from the placenta. As with Wharton’s jelly, the amniotic tissue allografts are safely harvested without risk to mother or baby. They contain growth factors with anti-inflammatory properties that also encourage your body to heal naturally, helping repair and restore damaged tissue, causing pain.
How Does Regenerative Medicine Work?
When the bioactive agents are injected into injured, damaged, or degenerated tissue, your body receives a boost of the components used for healing. Because they are applied in high concentrations, they quickly trigger your healing mechanisms that accelerate effective pain relief.
Reasons to Avoid Knee Surgery
Knee replacement surgery should be considered as the last course of action, as it does pose risks including:
- Chronic Knee Pain: In many cases, knee pain will only be minimally resolved with the risk of increased pain. Studies show that only 1 in 20 people see full function and regular activity following knee surgery.
- Metal Ions in the Blood: Knee replacements can cause microscopic pieces of metal to gradually break off, which can lead to tissue irritation. There is also a risk metal ions can get into the bloodstream causing harmful metal toxicity and potentially create pseudotumors and tissue damage.
- Allergies to Replacements: Some patients can suffer from allergies to the knee replacement, which can affect the outcome of surgery and lead to increased pain due to allergy-related inflammation.
- Increased Risk of Heart Attack: Patients 60 and over are 31 times more likely to have a heart attack within two weeks after knee replacement surgery. Men are 79 percent more likely to have a heart attack in the years following surgery.
- Risk for Blood Clots: 34 percent of patients suffer from blood clots in the legs following surgery.
It is always important to weigh your options before pursuing medical treatments and procedures. If you would like more information on regenerative medicine treatments for knee pain, contact us today.