Can Stem Cell Therapy Stave Off the Need for Surgery?

No one likes the idea of surgery, but there are times when it represents the best path forward for regaining pain-free mobility. With the advent of regenerative medicine in the form of stem cell therapy, orthopedists are rethinking the surgical solution in many cases in favor of allowing the body to do what it does best — repair and rebuild itself.

At Joint Preservation Institute of Iowa, as our name implies, Dr. Richard Goding and our team specialize in the myriad conditions that can affect your joints, with the goal of helping you maintain an active and healthy life. While joint replacement represents a viable option, we’re also having great success using stem cell therapy to help damaged tissues within your joints to heal and repair themselves on their own.

Here’s a look at how stem cell therapy may help you avoid, or at least delay, surgery.

The power of stem cells

To better understand this branch of regenerative medicine, it’s helpful to review some general information about cells and discuss what stem cells are and how they help with healing. Most of the cells in your body are tasked with one area — your liver cells occupy themselves with your liver and your brain cells tend to your brain, for example. 

Stem cells, on the other hand, are what we call undifferentiated cells, which means they’re not dedicated to one purpose. Instead, they have the incredible ability to become a number of different types of cells and then multiply indefinitely as that kind of cell.

Stem cells are most numerous and potent during embryonic development as they build a human life from the ground up. As an adult, you still have stem cells throughout your body, mainly in your bone marrow and fatty tissues. These stem cells jump into action when there’s damage in your body to help regenerate and rebuild the affected tissue. But your body works at its own pace, which is often more slowly than we’d like.

With stem cell therapy, our goal is to amplify this process by harvesting your own stem cells and redirecting them into your damaged tissue to speed up the healing process.

The applications of stem cell therapy

Stem cell therapy is a relatively new treatment, and we still have much to learn about tapping its awesome potential. What we have found so far, however, is very promising. With stem cell therapy, we’re able to help our patients overcome any number of injuries and degenerative diseases.

For example, if your tendons or ligaments are injured, or they’ve succumbed to overuse, we can use stem cell therapy to help these connective tissues repair themselves more quickly. For degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis, stem cell therapy has been shown to help rebuild the cartilage in your joints and ease inflammation.

In many cases, by using stem cell therapy along with adjunct treatments, we can avoid a surgical solution.

Even if we find that you do need surgery, such as a joint replacement, stem cell therapy can still play a valuable role in helping you to recover more quickly.

If you’d like to explore whether you may be a good candidate for stem cell therapy, please contact one of our two offices in West Des Moines and Corydon, Iowa.

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