Stem cell treatments have exploded on the sports medicine and orthopaedic surgery scene in the last few years. People are paying thousands of dollars to try to help their knees recover and allow them to stay active. Do they work? In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I share my thoughts on stem cells for knee arthritis for a young active person.
I have been doing some reading on stem cell therapy for meniscus injuries and arthritis in the knee. I am considering this, as I am a young athlete (29) who would like to keep being active, and hopefully avoid or postpone a knee replacement down the road. What are your thoughts on stem cell therapy for knee injuries?
As always, thanks for taking the time to answer reader questions. Your site and information have been a great help to me over the last few years as I have gone through multiple meniscus repairs and a partial meniscectomy.
Thanks Dr. Geier.
Stem cells are treatments in which tissue is harvested from your body. Cells are grown in a lab from that tissue. These stem cells are then reimplanted or injected into your injured area, such as the knee, with the hope that they turn into mature tissue and heal that area. In theory, in the setting of osteoarthritis, the stem cells would mature into articular cartilage and heal areas of damage.
While these treatments have been tried for years in other parts of the world, they have only recently been attempted in the United States. The challenge with knowing if they work is that we don’t have many quality studies looking at their effectiveness, namely randomized controlled trials comparing these treatments to standard treatments like physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications and cortisone injections. A tremendous amount of research is underway now to determine how well stem cells for knee arthritis work.
There are thought to be few complications of the treatments. They are expensive, and there is no guarantee they work. Insurance generally does not pay for them, so people often pay hundreds or thousands of dollars out of pocket. For active people who have tried the other non-surgical treatment options and do not want to modify their lifestyles or undergo joint replacement surgery, these treatments offer some hope.
Discover The Solution To Your Biggest Knee Injury Challenge Even If You Have No Medical Knowledge and You’ve Looked Everywhere and Haven’t Been Able To Find an Answer!
Click here to learn more!
Recommended Products and Resources
Click here to go to Dr. David Geier’s Amazon Influencer store!
Due to a large number of questions I have received over the years asking about products for health, injuries, performance, and other areas of sports, exercise, work and life, I have created an Amazon Influencer page. While this information and these products are not intended to treat any specific injury or illness you have, they are products I use personally, have used or have tried, or I have recommended to others. THE SITE MAY OFFER HEALTH, FITNESS, NUTRITIONAL AND OTHER SUCH INFORMATION, BUT SUCH INFORMATION IS DESIGNED FOR EDUCATIONAL AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THE CONTENT DOES NOT AND IS NOT INTENDED TO CONVEY MEDICAL ADVICE AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE. YOU SHOULD NOT RELY ON THIS INFORMATION AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR, NOR DOES IT REPLACE, PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS, OR TREATMENT. THE SITE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ACTIONS OR INACTION ON A USER’S PART BASED ON THE INFORMATION THAT IS PRESENTED ON THE SITE. Please note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.