Cortisone shots, also called corticosteroid injections, can sometimes bring short term relief to patients suffering from pain due to osteoarthritis of the knee. By reducing inflammation in the affected joint, corticosteroids can provide short term pain relief; however, if used to frequently, they can cause severe side effects including:
- Infection in the joint
- Nerve damage
- Osteoporosis in the knee
- Further deterioration to the cartilage in the knee
- Weak or ruptured tendons
- Temporary increase in blood sugar levels; people with diabetes should be carefully monitored for 24-48 hours following an injection
Results of a study published in the May 16, 2017, Journal of the American Medical Association, showed long term treatment with corticosteroids may not be beneficial.
Researchers evaluated 70 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Patients were split into two groups; one group received steroid injections every three months for two years while the second group received placebo injections every three months for two years. At the end of two years neither group received a clinically significant reduction in pain and the group receiving steroid injections lost almost twice as much cartilage as the placebo group. The findings of this study suggest steroid injections may not be beneficial in the long-term.
Osteoarthritis arthritis of the knee occurs when the cartilage, which acts a cushion, wears away. As the cartilage wears away there is less shock absorption and the bones will begin to rub more closely against each other; the result is pain, swelling, stiffness, and in later stages of the disease, the formation of bones spurs, and bone on bone contact. If long term use of corticosteroids results in loss of cartilage, it may be doing more harm than good.
The professionals at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute in Costa Rica use autologous mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee. Stem cells support self-healing of the knee joint cartilage. Osteoarthritis of the knee occurs with a gradual change to the immune system resulting in chronic inflammation of the synovium, damage to the cartilage surrounding the knee and a remodeling of the bone structure. Mesenchymal stem cells have been shown to regulate the immune system response, inhibit inflammation, stimulate blood vessel growth, repair tissue, and stimulate self-regeneration of the cartilage.
Using the most advanced technologies, the team of experts at The Stem Cells Transplant Institute believes in the potential of stem cell therapy for the treatment of osteoarthritis. We are committed to providing personalized service and the highest quality of care to every patient. If you have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee and are interested in the potential benefits of stem cell therapy, contact the Stem Cells Transplant Institute to discuss your treatment options.