Stem Cell Injections for Knee Pain, Arthritis, Tendonitis & More
Regenerative medicine is a game-changing area of medicine with the potential to fully heal damaged tissues, offering solutions and hope for people who have conditions that were once thought to be beyond repair.
For many patients with debilitating knee osteoarthritis in Peoria, treatment options are limited: steroid injections, joint replacement surgery, physical therapy, etc. At Superior Physical Medicine, new cutting-edge treatment options like amniotic membrane stem cell injections may be used to successfully treat patients with knee osteoarthritis, Achilles tendonitis, rotator cuff tendonitis, and degenerative arthritis.
Treatment of Joint Degeneration
Painful joint degeneration in Peoria is often treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen. These drugs can help relieve the symptoms of arthritis. A number of other treatments are often used to alleviate pain and improve daily functioning. Eventually, many patients end of receiving joint replacements. Total joint replacements have some downsides, including a long recovery period and, for many patients, significant pain even after surgery. The limitations of existing treatments have led doctors to look for other ways to effectively treat joint degeneration.
Amniotic Tissue Injections
Joint degeneration involves the breakdown of cartilage occurring faster than the body can repair it. The body’s natural healing process is complicated, involving stem cells and growth factors. Stem cells — cells capable of becoming many different types of cells — are present in our bodies throughout our lifetime, but often are not in sufficient concentrations at a particular site where healing is required. Some treatments may be able to enhance this healing process. For example, amniotic tissues — tissues in the fluid that fetuses gestate in prior to birth — contain a mix of cells and proteins that aid in tissue growth.
Amniotic tissues contain a matrix of collagen (a connective tissue found in the body) that can serve as scaffolding for the body to build new tissues around. Additionally, amniotic tissue contains a high concentration of stem cells. These cells are particularly useful because they do not contain the markers found in more mature cells that cause body reactions when an incompatible donor is used. Amniotic tissue also contains other growth factors involved in tissue growth. Due to this combination of beneficial properties, amniotic tissues have received considerable interest as a potential therapy for treating conditions such as joint degeneration. Research on this therapy is still early, but promising so far. In one study, researchers found that amniotic membrane was capable of creating growth in cartilage from joints.
How Does Amniotic Stem Cell Therapy Work?
Stem cells have the ability to develop — through a process called differentiation — into many different types of cells, such as cartilage, tendons, ligaments, etc. Stem cells are a key component of regenerative medicine in Peoria, as they open the door to new clinical applications.
Stem cell treatment takes advantage of the body’s ability to repair itself. With amniotic stem cell therapy, our medical staff injects stem cells from amniotic tissues into your body. These stem cells have anti-inflammatory properties, similar to cortisone and steroid shots. However, stem cell therapy goes far beyond the benefits of standard “injection therapy.”
While cortisone and other drugs only provide temporary pain relief and over time can cause degeneration of soft tissues, stem cells actually restore degenerated tissue while providing pain relief. The growth factors in amniotic stem cells may replace damaged cells in your body. Additionally, stem cell injections contain hyaluronic acid, which lubricates joints and tendons, easing the pain and helping restore mobility.
What Benefits Does Amniotic Stem Cell Therapy Offer?
Amniotic stem cell therapy at Superior Physical Medicine is very safe and effective. Learn more about several benefits this treatment has to offer:
Amniotic stem cells contain no steroids. Instead, the injections rely on naturally occurring anti-inflammatory agents, such as cytokines.
Amniotic stem cells contain hyaluronic acid, which lubricates cartilage and promotes new cartilage growth.
Amniotic stem cells contain growth factors, which stimulate tissue growth.
With amniotic stem cells, there is no threat of patient rejection.
Lastly, amniotic fluid is a highly-concentrated source of stem cells, which makes this type of stem cell injection preferable over embryonic stem cells and the patient’s own stem cells (from fat or bone marrow).
Are Stem Cell Injections Safe?
Amniotic stem cell therapy is a preferred type of stem cell therapy because the cells come from an immunoprivileged site, which means that patient-rejection is extremely rare.
The use of amniotic stem cells is well researched, safe, and effective. Amniotic stem cells have been used by ophthalmologists and plastic surgeons for about 20 years.
All amniotic stem cell donors go through a rigorous screening process, as determined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB).
What Should I Expect with an Outpatient Stem Cell Therapy Procedure?
An initial consultation with our medical team will be required to find out if you are a candidate for Stem Cell Therapy. If you are determined to be a candidate for Stem Cell Therapy, your procedure will be scheduled for another day. This initial consultation is usually covered by your insurance plan.
For two weeks prior to your procedure in Peoria, do not take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS).
Stand alone stem cell therapy is done as an outpatient procedure, so most patients will leave the clinic and resume low impact activities the same day. Some patients have reported mild pain for 48-72 hours after their procedure, but this can often be attributed to the absence of their routine anti-inflammatory medications. After this time period, most patients will experience a gradual decrease in pain and some may begin to notice increased function.
To give your procedure the best chance to provide lasting results, our medical team recommends the following post-procedure restrictions:
Do not take anti-inflammatory medication for 2 weeks after your procedure.
Rest for the first 24-48 hours after your procedure.
Restrict the treated joint to low impact / general use for the first 2 weeks.
For weeks 3-4, you may resume walking, cardio, and light lifting.
After 4 weeks, you may resume running and weightlifting.
Pay special attention to the treated joint and contact your physician with any questions or concerns you may have.
Please Note: If you are having a stem cell therapy procedure in conjunction with another surgical procedure, your recommendations may change. Consult with your physician on the guidelines and restrictions for your specific case.
Is Orthopedic Stem Cell Therapy Covered By My Insurance?
No. Because stem cell injections are considered investigational for orthopedic applications, most insurance companies will not cover the cost. Please contact our office to discuss cash payment options.
Am I a Candidate for Stem Cell Therapy?
Patients suffering from any kind of joint, tendon, or ligament pain may be considered as candidates for amniotic stem cell therapy at Superior Physical Medicine. In some cases, patients with severe degenerative osteoarthritis may not be eligible for stem cell therapy.