NFL player looks to orthopedic stem cell therapy for faster recovery

NFL player looks to orthopedic stem cell therapy for faster recovery

In an October loss to the Chicago Bears, running back Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, according to the Kansas City Star. As a stand-out player in the team's offensive line-up it was a surprise to many that they've continued on with a winning streak since then. Yet it's unfortunate for Charles who can now only sit on the sidelines and watch. Not uncommon as a professional athlete, this season-ending injury wasn't the first time in Charles' eight-year NFL career that a knee injury caused him to sit out for the remainder of the season.

Stem cell therapy
While both knee injuries were season-ending, it was Charles' choice of recovery procedures that has changed. After a 2011 ACL tear, the running back used traditional methods of knee repair – surgery. However, with the consistently emerging information and success stories on orthopedic stem cell therapies, more and more professional athletes are willing to turn toward these alternatives. In fact, more than 100 NFL football players have used the surgery in recent years, reported Sports Illustrated.

"It's something different. Every year, somebody comes out with something different. When I tore my left ACL 4 years ago, I didn't do it," Charles told Sports Illustrated. "This is a new thing that came out to get you back faster, so I just tried it."

Faster recovery
Using the body's own stem cells, the treatment enhances healing and speeds up the recovery process. According to the Kansas City Star, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bert Mandelbaum believes that stem cell therapy treatment is a very important area and can have a huge impact on elite athletes who commonly suffer from long-term injuries. Pulling from the body's own bone marrow, the process is more natural and involves less risk of rejection or infection. Additionally, the graft is going to allow for faster healing and for a stronger and better repair.

The Bleacher Report stated that Charles first received the stem cell treatment during the ligament-repair surgery, and then again six weeks later. With the notion that experimenting with the stem cell therapy will lead to a faster recovery time, Charles has reported that he's confident he'll be back on the field and ready to go for the start of the 2016 season.