According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), more than one in four Americans has a musculoskeletal impairment. In fact, the AAOS estimates that approximately 40 million musculoskeletal impairment-related visits are made to doctors’ offices each year, costing Americans $172 million in lost work days annually.
Unfortunately, very few of these injuries will heal on their own. Most will require intervention, whether it's lengthy physical therapy programs or painful surgical procedures with extended recovery periods. Worse yet, while some of these procedures may eventually provide some relief, all of them come with their own set of risks and complications.
Many people considering an orthopedic procedure don't realize there is a powerful alternative to surgery that can provide greater relief in less time. Stem cell therapy is a safer, faster and more effective solution to painful orthopedic surgery procedures. By using the body’s own mesenchymal stem cells, this therapy can heal the body’s damaged tissues and restore lost cartilage. And because stem cell therapy uses your own cells, there is no chance of negative side effects or of your body rejecting the cells.
Take a look at how stem cell therapy can provide relief to some common orthopedic impairments.
Each year more than 600,000 total knee replacement (TKR) surgeries are performed in the United States. Despite their popularity, many patients do not realize that TKR surgeries can take anywhere from six months to a year to fully heal, and even with successful recovery, many patients never regain their original strength. Additionally, like any artificial joint, TKR joints can wear out and may eventually require another painful joint revision surgery. Patients are also frequently surprised to learn that because artificial joints are made of metal, they can release dangerous metal ions into the body that can cause bone damage and other health issues.
Stem cell therapy can often delay or completely eliminate the need for TKR procedures. Stem cell therapy uses the patient's mesenchymal cells to repair the surrounding cartilage of the knee. When the stem cells are injected into the knee joint, they transform into cartilage-producing cells called chondrocytes. Chondrocytes replace lost cartilage while increasing the body’s ability to heal, decreasing inflammation, reducing scarring and naturally restoring function to the knee.
Rotator Cuff Surgery
The road to repairing a torn rotator cuff with surgery can be long and painful. Following the initial procedure, patients are required to keep the arm and shoulder immobile in a sling for up to eight weeks so the tendon has time to heal. This forced immobility causes weakness and stiffness in the arm, and it can often take months before the patient is able to lift everyday objects again. Athletes who undergo rotator cuff surgery may take up to a year to return to their sport.
Using stem cell therapy to heal a torn rotator cuff is a completely different experience. In fact, a 2014 study found that of 45 patients who underwent stem cell therapy to repair a torn rotator cuff, 100 percent were completely healed within six months of treatment. A 10-year follow-up of the same stem cell patients showed significantly higher tendon integrity over the control group, proving that the stem cell users not only healed faster, but also maintained their results far better than patients who underwent surgery. Perhaps that’s why professional athletes like Super Bowl Champion quarterback Peyton Manning, former LA Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant and New York Yankees slugger Alex "A-Rod" Rodriguez have all used stem cell treatments to heal their orthopedic injuries.
If you are interested in learning more about how stem cell therapy could help repair your orthopedic injuries, please contact Dr. Lekkos’ office at 310-955-1885.