Stem Cells Vs. Traditional Surgery
Have you, a family member, or a friend, ever have a serious knee injury that needed surgery? What if there was a way where there could be a few simple injections without the pain and struggle from surgery. Well there is, with the help of stem cell therapy, an innovative method for repairing knee injuries instead of the traditional surgical method, arthroscopy.
Stem cells are like any other cells, but can be specialized, meaning that these cells can be programmed to a certain type of cell. These stem cells, at an embryonic stage, can turn into heart cells, brain cells, tissue cells, and so on (Viegas, 20). Given its spectacular abilities to change into any types of cells, this is a new method instead of going through the traditional method of surgery. Think of it this way. The walls on the house start to deteriorate and it needs to be repaired. But instead of repairing them, you began removing them.
This is what happens in modern day surgical methods of repairing the knee. Soon, the house begins to crumble, because the support of the house is significantly less than before. Eventually, a new house has to be placed, and that is what happens in knee replacement surgeries (Regenexx Stem Cell Procedures on The Doctor). These knee replacement surgeries often lead to other problems because your body is not use to it. Instead of completely removing the walls, we can repair them, and that is what stem cell therapy does.
Doctors begin with taking the bone marrow from the patient. Bone marrow is a soft spongy tissue that lies within the hollow interior of long bone, and it is rich in mesenchymal stem cells, which pertain to the cartilage, bone, tendons, muscles, and skin (Engineering, 12). After they process the bone marrow in the lab, they inject the process stem cells to the patient’s damaged area. Jarvis Green, a professional football player, had failed lateral meniscus surgery on his knees. He played for the New England Patriots from 2002 to 2009 and was a free agent with the Denver Broncos in 2010. As a result to his failed surgery, he was cut from the Broncos.
With his final year with the Patriots, Green had two knee surgeries. At minicamp, his knee worsened to the point where it was “bone-on-bone.” He was very limited to the activities he did; he could not walk up or down stairs, also could not play tennis with his kids. He knew something was wrong, and decided to try stem cell therapy. The doctors had extracted bone marrow from his hip and harvested it for three weeks. Then it was injected into Green’s knee.
They told him to wear a brace for ten days. Within two weeks, he said, “everything changed. The pain was gone. It was a tremendous difference in the pain level, my range of motion. It was amazing” (“Regenexx Stem Cell Procedures Help NFL Champion”). If you are interested, or want to learn more about stem cell therapy, go to Regenexx.com. They have helped over 2000 people, and their offices are all throughout the country. Works Cited Engineering tendon and ligament tissues: present developments towards successful clinical products. N.p.: J Tissue Eng Regen Med, 2012.
Print. “Regenexx Stem Cell Procedures Help NFL Champion Return to Action with Houston Texans.” Regenexx. Regenerative Sciences, 1 Feb. 2011.
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Regenexx Stem Cell Procedures on The Doctor. Youtube. N.p.
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Viegas, Jennifer. Stem Cell Research. New York: Rosen, 2003. Print.