Cartilage is a tissue in the joints that protects the bones from damage. It functions much like the shock absorber on a car. The cartilage absorbs the force generated when a person walks, runs, lifts an object, or otherwise places strain on the joint.
However, cartilage can be damaged over time by normal wear, repetitive use, and trauma. When this happens, the patient may experience acute or chronic pain, inflammation, and decreased mobility.
In the past, specialists treated these conditions with a combination of oral medications and surgical interventions. While these options can improve patient symptoms and restore some function, they have their limitations. Fortunately, recent research into stem cell therapy demonstrated that these specialized cells might have the power to help repair and potentially regenerate cartilage tissue.
Below, we examine the current treatments for cartilage damage. We also discuss the potential benefits of stem cell therapy for those suffering from cartilage damage and joint-related conditions.
Current Treatments for Cartilage Damage
Generally, medical professionals recommend oral anti-inflammatory medications to address mild cartilage damage. They may also suggest rest, ice, and elevation to prevent aggravating the injured joint. Patients can supplement these efforts with a physical therapy program.
If the cartilage damage is more severe, they may use one of several surgical options. One method is known as debridement. During this procedure, the physician will trim loose edges to reduce joint irritation.
Marrow stimulation is another common intervention that may encourage the body to grow new cartilage. However, this new tissue is not nearly as robust as the original cartilage, meaning it will wear more quickly.
Potential Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy
During the recent study mentioned above, researchers were able to generate cartilage in a laboratory setting. They were able to create three-dimensional sections of cartilage without any supporting materials. While more research is necessary, the team responsible for this breakthrough hopes to develop a process to repair worn or damaged cartilage.
In the meantime, stem cell therapy is a potential alternative treatment option for those suffering from cartilage damage. This therapy involves the injection of autologous concentrated stem cells into the site of the injury.
Stem cell therapy has the potential to stimulate the natural healing capabilities of the body. Unlike the marrow stimulation procedure described above, this intervention involves the injection of the patient’s own stem cells. These cells can repair damaged tissue, meaning that they may be able to replace destroyed cartilage.
This post was written by a medical professional at https://www.stemedix.com. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.