Stem Cell Therapy for Knee Pain

Walk, run, and jump again with safe, effective treatment without surgery   

Persistent knee pain can strike people of all ages and hamper enjoyment of every kind of physical activity. Injuries from activities like sports are common causes of knee pain, but it can also be the result of an underlying chronic condition such as arthritis. Approximately 700,000 Americans undergo knee replacement surgeries each year, making it by far the most common total joint replacement procedure.

But a risky, expensive operation that may not restore you to full mobility is not your only option for relief from knee pain. Stem cell therapy is a low-cost means of natural healing that can reduce inflammation and promote regeneration of damaged tissue and cartilage. It can get you back to doing the things you love by working with your body’s biology instead of trying to replace it.


What Is Stem Cell Therapy & How Can it Help Repair Knees?

Philadelphia PRP and Stem Cell Institute offers two types of regenerative medicine procedures to treat knee pain:

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Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP)

Platelets from your own blood are concentrated and re-injected, supplying the damaged area with vital growth factors that promote cellular repair.

 
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Stem Cell Therapy (BMC)

Adult mesenchymal stem cells harvested from your hip are re-injected into the problem area where they heal by encouraging new tissue growth and controlling inflammation.


Knee Conditions Stem Cell Therapy Can Help

Common knee problems that can be addressed with stem cell therapy include:

  • Patellar Instability

  • Patellofemoral syndrome (“runner’s knee”)

  • Baker’s cyst

  • Biceps femoris tendinopathy

  • Proximal hamstring tendinopathy (PHT)

  • Torn or sprained anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), and lateral collateral ligament (LCL)*

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Bursitis

  • Synovitis

  • Torn meniscus*

  • Articular cartilage defects*

  • Patellar Tendinitis

*Please note: some cartilage and ligament tears may be too extensive to heal completely with BMC injection alone. In those cases, we may recommend a combination of surgical intervention combined with BMC to achieve maximal healing.


How Do the Procedures Work?

Our regenerative medicine therapies vary slightly in the materials they use and from where they’re derived, but from the patient’s perspective they are quite similar:

Stem Cell Therapy:

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Extraction
As you lie facedown on a table, the doctor extracts bone marrow aspirate from your hip with a special needle. You may experience mild discomfort but the majority of patients tolerate this easily.

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Concentration
To concentrate the adult stem cells and platelets in the marrow fluid into BMC, the aspirate is spun in a centrifuge for up to 15 minutes.

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Injection
The doctor re-injects the stem cell-rich, concentrated BMC into the area of pain.

 

PRP:

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Extraction
The doctor draws a blood sample from your arm, just like in a routine blood test.

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Concentration
The blood we’ve drawn is spun in a centrifuge to separate the growth factor-containing platelets from the other components in the plasma. The PRP is then removed.

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Injection
With the PRP material prepared, it is injected into the damaged tissue, disc, joint, or tendon, using x-ray or ultrasound guidance, if necessary.

A platelet-rich plasma treatment will seem much like simply giving blood from your arm, except in this case the now-enhanced blood is re-injected at the end.


Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy for Knees

Here’s why you should choose stem cell therapy over other treatment methods:

  • Drug-free: Stem cell injections contain no steroids and don’t require painkillers afterward.

  • Regenerative: Stem cell properties can actually slow degeneration of your knee and lead to new, healthy tissue.

  • Minimally invasive: Stem cell therapy is a relatively simple procedure that avoids many of the complications associated with operative procedures.

  • Natural: Stem cell therapy uses the cells derived from your own body, reducing the chances of an immune rejection.

  • Convenient: You will most likely be able to return to work the next day following your procedure. Positive results may present immediately, but most patients notice the biggest improvements between four and six weeks after receiving therapy.

  • Effective: No lengthy & expensive physical therapy in most cases.

  • Cost-effective: Stem cell therapy is very affordable, especially compared to most deductibles for surgery.

Regenerative Medicine vs Surgery vs Pain Injections - A Comparison

  Stem Cell Therapy (BMC) PRP Traditional Surgery Pain Injections
Hospital stay Not required* Not required* Inpatient Not required
Anaesthesia Local Local General Local
Procedure Minimally invasive Minimally invasive Invasive Minimally invasive
Risk of infection Minimal Minimal Yes Minimal
Greater threat to at-risk patients (elderly, diabetic, overweight) No No Yes No
Loss of bone or tissue No No Yes No
Scarring No No Yes No
Risk of new biomechanical problems post-treatment No No Yes No
Painkillers required post-treatment No No Sometimes No
Time to return to daily activities 1-2 days 1-2 days 2-3+ months 1-2 days
Full recovery period 4-12 weeks 4-12 weeks A few weeks to several months 2-10 days
Addresses Underlying Biological Dysfunction Partially Partially No No

*Most BMC and PRP procedures occur in a physician's office, but some patients may elect to have them done on an outpatient basis in a surgery center if they prefer non-local anesthesia.


A Safe & Natural Alternative to Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery is often prescribed for severely arthritic knees and can be beneficial. Nevertheless, it should only be considered a last resort as the procedure is a major surgery with inherent risks such as:

  • Blood clots or blood loss

  • Anesthesia complications (headache, nausea, allergic reaction, trouble breathing, stroke)

  • Infection

  • Pain and swelling

  • Nerve or artery damage

  • Implant failure   

Even in successful surgeries, the knee will never be the same again; in fact, most people with artificial knees rate them as 75% of normal.

In contrast, PRP and adult mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) injections carry much lower risk, primarily because they’re autologous (obtained from the same individual who’s using them). So while they still carry the risk of infection or bleeding that all injections involve, there’s little or no risk of allergic reaction or rejection by the body.

Both applications are minimally invasive and adhere to all relevant FDA guidelines. The MSC therapy we provide is an FDA-accepted part of the practice of medicine, because we only process and apply the cells you already have in your body. We produce PRP using 510(k) cleared medical devices, registered and fully compliant with FDA regulations.

Finally, regenerative medicine is superior to surgery because it eliminates the need for highly addictive opioid painkillers while providing pain and mobility improvements equivalent to or better than joint replacement.


Are You a Good Candidate for Stem Cell Therapy?

Contact us today to hear if stem cell therapy can give you lasting relief for your knee pain.