There are approximately 750,000 arthroscopic knee surgeries performed in the United States each year and more than 2 million are performed worldwide. In the U.S. the cost of this surgery ranges from $5000 to $10,000 and in many cases the surgery is not successful. The most common knee surgery is for a torn meniscus. New research shows how removing the meniscus significantly increases the risk of osteoarthritis and provides insight into how osteoarthritis starts.
Using a powerful microscope, researchers at the University of Calgary have discovered that after the meniscus is removed, half of the cells that make up the cartilage in the knee died following strenuous exercise. This cell death dramatically increases the risk of developing osteoarthritis. The new microscope didn’t just measure the number of cells that died but actually allowed the researchers to watch the cells as they were dying.1
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), osteoarthritis is the leading cause of disability in adults. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that occurs when the cartilage, which acts as 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. As the swelling, stiffness, and pain increases you may find yourself minimizing your movement, effectively worsening the problem. Reduced movement can increase the amount of muscle that is wasting away, and laxity of the ligament which, will reduce the strength and stability of the knee.
Stem Cell Therapy
Data as early as the 1950’s has demonstrated the protective role of the meniscus. This is the first research that clearly shows the important role the meniscus plays; reducing cell death and protecting an injured knee from suffering additional injury. By reducing cell death, the meniscus helps maintain the health of the cartilage. Avoiding meniscus surgery may mean preventing significant cell death and avoiding the development of osteoarthritis.
Stem cell therapy at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute can help heal damage to the meniscus and cartilage. Stem cells support self-healing. Mesenchymal stem cells have been shown to regulate the immune system response, inhibit inflammation, stimulate blood vessel growth, repair tissue, and stimulate cellular self-regeneration.
The stem cells and platelet-rich plasma are easily harvested from the patient. These stem cells are specific to the patient, ensuring the patient will not reject the cells. The entire procedure is relatively quick and most patients are up and walking with assistance within 24 hours. Patients will experience minimal discomfort, and depending on the job, most can return to work in 1-2 weeks. If the patient performs a desk job, he or she may return after only a few days.
Most patients believe meniscus surgery means the tear will be repaired however the reality is that in 9 out 10 cases a piece of the meniscus is simply removed. This may resolve the pain for the short term unfortunately over the long term this only increases the damage to the cartilage.
A Better Option
A better option is treatment with stem cell therapy, at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute, using your own stem cells, your own platelets and antioxidants. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of stem cell therapy.
- Abusara et al., Menisci protect chondrocytes from load-induced injury, Scientific Reports (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-32503-1