Knee arthritis is a chronic condition that affects people of all genders, ages, and races. It is characterized as a degeneration (or deterioration) of the knee joint space that will lead to severe pain, stiffness, tenderness, and potential swelling. There are several conservative treatments for knee pain which include physical therapy, medications, and steroid injections. Restoration of normal cartilage function is challenging to achieve. Traditional treatment options only address the symptoms, and are not curative. In extreme conditions, a total knee replacement may be needed, but this could lead to increased pain and usually has a limited life span.
Regeneration of the cartilage in the knee joint after an injury is a slow process and usually doesn’t completely occur due to the intensive responsibilities of the knee joint such as walking. In many situations, despite the normal healing process, physical therapy, medications, and steroid injections, the knee pain persists and the healing process is aborted. Our team of medical pioneers now offers an innovative treatment involving injection of stem cells into the knee joint to restart the healing process of the damaged cartilage and reverse the chronic knee pain.
It is important to understand that these are not embryonic stem cells, but instead mesenchymal stem cells which are harvested from the patient’s own bone marrow. These mesenchymal stem cells can differentiate into the cartilage lineage of cells and heal the arthritic joint. The stem cells are extracted from the patient’s hip bone, and then injected into the damaged knee joint. Most patients seem to see some relief in the first two months and their condition will gradually improve over 6-12 months. This procedure is a viable alternative to surgery or even a knee replacement. Please note not all patients are candidates for this procedure – inquire with our Care Coordinator as to whether this treatment option is appropriate for you.
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Dr. Niteesh Bharara is a world-renowned, double board certified orthopedic physician specializing in non-surgical sports medicine. He serves as the Director of Regenerative Medicine at Virginia Spine Institute and leads the Mid-Atlantic region in performing effective natural therapies such as stem cell therapy, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), prolotherapy, and adipose injections. Dr. Bharara’s distinguished expertise within this field earned him 2022 Face of Regenerative Medicine, and Top Doctor recognition in consecutive years. Learn more about Dr. Bharara.