The Pros And Cons Of Stem Cell Treatment For Knee Ligament Injuries

Torn or strained ligaments are some of the most common knee injuries people may have. For example, many people who injure their knees either tear their ACL or MCL. For many years, the only way to treat such injuries was with surgery. But now, stem cell therapy is emerging as a preferred treatment for torn ligaments in the knee. What are the pros and cons of these treatments? Take a look.

Pro: Stem cell therapy is less invasive than surgery

Healing from knee surgery takes several months. While your ligament is repaired during the surgical procedure, it will be several months before you're able to walk and use your knee normally again. It takes time for your body to heal from the incisions after surgery. Stem cell therapy is much less invasive. The stem cells are simply injected into the injured tissues. There are no incisions to heal, and you won't have scars left behind.

Con: Stem cell treatment does not work for everyone

When the stem cells are injected into your injured knee, the hope is that they will differentiate into ligament cells and heal your damaged ligament. Usually, this is exactly what happens. But sometimes, for reasons not fully understood yet, a person's stem cells do not differentiate and heal the ligament as expected. When you undergo stem cell therapy on a knee, you do have to accept there's some risk that it just won't work for you.

Pro: The stem cells used are your own

This procedure does not involve introducing foreign materials or tissues to your body. The stem cells used are removed from your own bone marrow. Usually, they are removed from the interior of your femur. The fact that the cells used are your own removes a lot of risk from the procedure and gives many patients comfort.

Con: Stem cell therapy does not provide instant healing

After your stem cell injections, you will still need to focus on healing your knee. Physical therapy is usually used in conjunction with therapy to ensure your tissues heal correctly. You will need to ease your way back into activity, taking lots of breaks and babying your knee, to some degree, while you heal.

Stem cell treatment is often a very effective way to heal a torn ligament in your knee. However, it is not an overnight fix, and there are times when it does not work as expected. Contact a knee pain stem cell therapy service to learn more.