Stem cell therapy in orthopedics, a form of regenerative medicine, is a natural way of healing the body without the need for invasive surgery. While treatment applications in stem cell therapies are still developing, research in recent years has shown proven positive results. Evolution in the field of orthopedics has also demonstrated the benefits and advantages of using stem cell therapies over traditional surgical means. Here are some of the health benefits associated with stem cell therapy in orthopedics:
Promotes natural healing
The human body is innately programmed to heal itself. New technologies in stem cell therapies are taking advantage of that natural power. Taken from the fat or bone marrow of a patient, these stem cells have the ability to transform into any other type of cell within the body. Chock-full of growth factors, these cells are harvested from one area of the body and then injected into the site of injury or trauma. They then become concentrated and stimulate new growth. This promotes a faster healing process, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, because the time that it would take for these cells to travel to the site of injury on their own would be much longer.
Avoids additional risk
While embryonic stem cells run the risk of immune rejection complications, stem cells harvested from the patient's own supply avoid that potential rejection, reported the National Institutes of Health. By using familiar body material and re-implanting tissue from the body of a patient, the risk of rejection is eliminated. Most professionals in the field believe that using the body's own cells provides little to no risk at all.
According to Meier Orthopedic Sports Medicine, stem cell therapy boasts an excellent track record. As one of very few medical treatments that has almost no side effects, it is considered a very safe procedure. Thanks to its healing capabilities, stem cell therapy also prevents infection and reduces any risk of complications. Combining stem cell therapies with surgical procedures is also highly beneficial. Stem cell therapy dramatically brings down the potential of scarring, prolonged recovery, revision surgery and the need for additional treatment – all of which can be quite costly.
Ability to treat extensive conditions
Some conditions, such as degenerative disk disease, are at times considered too extensive to fix. This condition causes acute pain due to damaged spinal disks. If a disk is injured, according to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, it does not have the capability to repair itself and, unlike other tissue in the body, there is a lack of blood supply. Stem cell therapy is one of the nonoperative methods of treatment for this condition.