It may be hard to believe, but in the year 2030, scientists predict that approximately  67 million Americans will be affected by arthritis of the knee. This chronic disease hinders the daily lives of a growing population, causing a multitude of people to experience pain and inflammation due to the deterioration of cartilage and bone-on-bone friction. 

While this medical condition does not discriminate against a person’s age, race, or gender, it is increasingly prevalent in overweight  and elderly patients. Since our knees are among the most weight-bearing joints in the body, the repetition of daily movement causes them to naturally begin to degenerate over time. When our knees give out, the pain and discomfort may eventually become unbearable, affecting our daily routine and activities. There are many different paths a person may go down to find relief from the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. Regenerative medicine is needed to heal the body, proactively treat current symptoms, and prevent them from returning. 

This post will provide an all-encompassing rundown of traditional medicine therapies vs. regenerative medicine therapies when used to treat arthritis of the knee. We will explain why traditional medicine alone is not efficient in treating arthritis of the knee and how Regenerative Therapy is a more effective and long term way to treat arthritis of the knee.

 

How is Traditional Medicine Used to Treat Arthritis of the Knee?

When patients seek treatment for arthritis of the knee, traditional medical treatments are often sought after as the first approach. Invasive surgeries, corticosteroids, and opioid medications are among the most common forms of traditional medicine therapies offered to treat arthritis of the knee. 

Although surgery and medication can temporarily eliminate pain and inflammation, the cause of these symptoms remains untreated with such medicine. The following is a list of Traditional Medicine therapies used to treat arthritis of the knee and the pros and cons of each:

Corticosteroid Injection Treatment 

It is widespread for a traditional medical practice to offer patients corticosteroid injection treatment as a temporary form of relief for their osteoarthritic knee pain. Corticosteroids, also known as “steroids,” are synthetic drugs that resemble Cortisol, a hormone that our adrenal glands naturally produce.

While Corticosteroid injections have an impeccable track record in temporarily relieving and diminishing the symptoms of inflammation, we must ask ourselves what the risks are? Once corticosteroids are injected into a damaged or inflamed joint, they almost immediately begin to break down the joint structure, causing the joint to deteriorate and further degenerate. 

 

Invasive Knee Surgery

Many arthritis of the knee patients resort to total knee replacement surgery to manage their chronic pain. Typically, the patient will have a “clean up surgery” where a surgeon will remove tiny bits and fragmented pieces of damaged ligaments and meniscus from the knee. A traditional doctor may suggest total knee replacement surgery for patients who are further down the path of the arthritic deterioration process and have their femur resting on the tibia or are experiencing bone-on-bone friction occurring in their knee.

Knee surgeries are expensive and invasive and only offer temporary pain relief for patients. It is common for a patient to spend upwards of 8 thousand dollars, only to need a second surgery 15-20 years later. When knee replacement surgeries are unsuccessful, patients will turn to pharmaceutical drugs, which are addictive. 

 

Opioids to Treat Arthritis of the Knee

Opioid medications such as Vicodin, Hydrocodone, and Oxycodone are the typical drugs recommended by traditional doctors to treat arthritis of the knee. It’s no secret that these medications are a fast and convenient way to relieve pain and inflammation, but the cons may outweigh the benefits.

Opioid medications prescribed for managing knee pain have become an increasingly alarming problem, doing their part in assisting in the opioid crisis. The amount of opioids prescribed in the US has drastically increased since the early 1990s. According to the International Narcotic Control Board, in 1991, 76 million prescriptions to 207 million drugs in 2013. Following the rise in prescriptions of opioids, the amount of opioid addiction cases has critically increased. 

 

How is Regenerative Medicine Used to Treat Arthritis of the Knee?

As the number of patients with arthritis of the knee increases, so does the number of patients who are turning to regenerative medicine therapy treatment options. While traditional medicine practices such as knee replacement surgery and pharmaceutical medication may be a temporary solution, there is still an unsolved long-term problem that needs to be addressed. It is important to understand that the joint tissue and fluids need to be regenerated for the joints in their knees to heal.

Regenerative Medicine therapy regenerates the damaged joint tissue to both repair current joint deterioration and prevent the joints from future degeneration. Two of the most common forms of regenerative medicine therapies performed to treat and prevent pain and inflammation caused by arthritis of the knee are Stem Cell and Hyaluronic Acid Injection Therapy treatments. They have their pros and cons, let’s explore them below:

 

Stem Cell Therapy 

Over the last few decades, patients have been turning to stem cell therapy to get to the root cause of arthritis. It is no wonder that patients are choosing this highly effective, nonintrusive way of treating and preventing arthritic knee pain and inflammation over traditional medicine. Stem cell therapy treatment is safe, offers long-lasting effects, and requires minimal recovery time. Most patients can return to their daily routine immediately after an injection. 

An essential factor to consider with stem cell therapy treatment is that not all stem cell therapy treatment is created equal. It is imperative to consider the following factors when receiving stem cell therapy treatment: 

  • The type of stem cells used matters: Human Umbilical Cord Stem Cells are the most effective.
  • The source of stem cells is crucial: Stem Cells must be prescreened and donated to a regulated and FDA- registered Lab that cryogenically freezes them for preservation. 
  • The way Stem Cells are administered makes an impact: Stem cells must be administered with diagnostic ultrasound technology for guidance and precision. 

At Greenwood Regenerative Medicine, we use FDA Approved Human Umbilical Cord Stem Cells administered with Ultrasound Guidance  to treat and prevent knee pain. 

 

Hyaluronic Acid Injections 

Another form of regenerative medicine used to treat and prevent pain and inflammation caused by arthritis of the knee is Hyaluronic Acid Injection therapy. Hyaluronic Acid is a naturally occurring sugar molecule called polysaccharide or glycosaminoglycan. It is found in just about every species and is present throughout the body. Hyaluronic Acid is highly concentrated in the joints’ synovial fluid and our skin and eyes. There is an extra high concentration of hyaluronic acid in the knee joints since the knee joint is the most weight-bearing joint in the human body. 

Hyaluronic Acid lubricates and cushions the joints in the knees and acts as a scaffold protein and allows stem cells to have a mesh to cling on to when injected into the joints. Hyaluronic Acid treatment profoundly impacts the efficacy of stem cell therapy used to treat knee pain which makes HA a great companion to Stem Cell Therapy. 

 

Find out if Regenerative Medicine Therapy is the right option for you.

Knee degeneration caused by arthritis is a common cause of pain and inflammation, but there is a way to treat and prevent it, thanks to regenerative medicine therapy. At Greenwood Regenerative Medicine, we value that every one of our patients is different. We offer a risk-free screening to each prospective patient to assess if Stem Cell Therapy is right for them. 

Complete the below form or give us a call today to request your Free Consultation and determine if Regenerative Medicine Therapy is right for you!