Stem Cell Treatment for Cartilage Regeneration
Cartilage degeneration is a common disease or condition known as osteoarthritis. As the term indicates, it occurs when the cartilage between the joints degenerates, or breaks down with the passing of time. The cartilage is vital to the joint as it acts as a cushion for impact and movement. When this “cushion” wears down, the joints are subject to pain and stiffness. However, there are treatments that can help with this condition. Here are some notes to better understand cartilage degeneration and what you as a patient can do to get pain relief and regain joint function.
What Causes Cartilage Degeneration?
Although there is no specific cause for cartilage degeneration, your risk of suffering from it increases with age and use. Another contributing factor is genetics – certain genes may cause an inadequate production of collagen, an essential component of cartilage. Misshapen bones may also increase your risk for osteoarthritis as they put pressure on the joint that the joint is not designed to handle.
Then there are environmental and lifestyle factors that can contribute to cartilage degeneration. Being overweight, for instance, adds extra pressure to the joints. Excessive exercise, especially if it is repetitive on the same joint, can increase wear and tear of joints. Inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis also increase the risk of cartilage damage.
What Should I Expect from Cartilage Degeneration?
There are a number of symptoms that can result from cartilage degeneration. Depending on which joint is affected, you may experience:
- Soreness or stiffness in the hips, knees, and lower back
- Stiffness that improves with movement
- Swelling/inflammation around affected joints
- Pain that is worse at the end of the day
- A scraping sensation when moving the knee
- Swelling of ankles and toes
- Swelling and pain of fingers
Household chores may become more difficult due to stiffness of fingers. If your hips or knees are affected, you should take extra caution when getting out of bed or going up and down the stairs. Stiffness of the lower limbs and weakness of the hip can increase your risk of falling and sustaining a serious injury.
How Can Stem Cell Therapy Help with Cartilage Degeneration?
There are great advances being made with stem cell technology, which is a viable and effective treatment option if you are looking for relief from joint pain cause by cartilage degeneration.
At our facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, we offer stem cell treatment for those who are suffering and in need. Healthy cells from unaffected areas of your body (we harvest stem cells from adipose tissue in the abdomen or “love-handles”) can be used to repair, heal and regenerate areas injured or damaged tissue, ligaments or cartilage. Through a natural process called differentiation, the stem cells can adapt and change into any cell in the human body. A major advantage of using stem cell treatment is the ability to avoid risky and painful surgery with long recovery times.
So, if you are tired of the pain caused by cartilage degeneration/osteoarthritis, and would like to regain a pain-free and active lifestyle, we encourage you to come into our office to discuss your treatment options. Our clinic director, Dr. Sunny Kim can give you a comprehensive consultation. And in the case that stem cell therapy is not suitable for you, we will be glad to find you another course of action for recovery. Call us at (319) 774-8143.