UPDATED August 13, 2019 – For most patients suffering from debilitating knee damage or osteoarthritis, traditional options to repair knee issues are limited. Currently, most traditional approaches look to mask the pain with cortisone steroid injections, risky joint replacement surgery, or simple physical therapy which does not target the root issue. The regeneration center offers a powerful non-surgical alternative to knee replacements using a combination with enhanced stem cells and exosome growth factors. Our Knee Regeneration Protocol achieves better results with endogenous MSC+ cell infusions and growth factors. Stem cell therapy is ideal for degenerative hip and damaged kneecap induced pain, those looking for an effective alternative to knee replacement surgery or for those with joint ligament, tendon, and bone injuries from playing sports. Get back to doing all the things you love to do in life, faster & without invasive surgeries.
Meniscus Tears, Ligament & Tendon Tears
The human body consists of billions of very specialized cells that differentiate into specific purposed organs such as skin, muscle, brain, heart, ligaments, tendons, bones, and connective joints. These specialized cells are continually circulating through the body as part of our natural regenerative process. Typically, when older cells die ( apoptosis ), new cells are created from our circulating stem cells that have the capability of creating multiple types of cell lineages.(23745314) When cartilage or tissue in the human body is injured, the degenerative effects can exceed the capacity of our natural regenerative process, resulting in joint structures becoming weaker, less functional and painful due to cartilage loss. This is especially true for middle-aged and older patients who get injuries in areas like the knees that are isolated from continuous blood circulation ( vehicle for stem cells ).
There are hundreds of different types of stem cells in our body; however, only a few cell types are beneficial for musculoskeletal applications such as hip injuries and shoulder repairs. Mesenchymal stem cell markers (MSC+) offer the highest potential for articular cartilage regeneration. MSC cells used in therapies are isolated from a select group of cell-rich tissues, then expanded to enhance their differentiation potential.(21560849)
Cellular Lines Used In Knee Regeneration Therapies
- The positive cell markers used in the isolation and expansion include STRO-1, CD146, CD73, CD166, CD105, and CD106.
- The negative MSC cell markers include: CD45, CD11b, CD31,CD34 and CD117.
The Bioactive factors that are secreted by enhanced MSC+ stem cells can help inhibit tissue scarring, suppress the apoptosis phase, stimulate angiogenesis, and also improve mitosis of the MSC+ progenitor cells. The Enhanced MSC+ cell protocols we offer provides patients with the many practical advantages of engineered cartilage cells that can be used to repair osteochondral lesions, chondral lesions and also to initiate endogenous regenerative capacity.
The Regen Center Orthopedic department is the leading provider of non-surgical repair for injuries and chronic knee pain from conditions such as :
- ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) Non-Retracted sprain or tear
- MCL (Medial Cruciate Ligament) sprain or tear
- PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament) sprain or tear
- Rheumatoid arthritis of the Knees
- Knee Tendonitis or Tendinopathy
- Patellar Tendinosis or Tendonitis
- Bone on bone Osteoarthritis
- Runner’s Knee aka Chondromalacia
- Pes anserine Bursitis
- Patellofemoral syndrome ( PFS )
- Iliotibial band syndrome ( ITBS )
- Osgood-Schlatter Disease ( OSD )
- Synovial plica syndrome & Medial plica syndrome
- Knee Meniscus Injury & Tears
- Bursitis of the Knees
- Baker’s cysts
Degenerative Osteoarthritis of the Knees
The Regen Center ACL protocol is a combination therapy using enhanced cells and osteogenic growth factors to heal partially torn Anterior cruciate ligaments and complete non-retracted ACL tears. Our safe non-surgical alternative to repair ACL is a very viable option for those considering surgical intervention because of a partial ACL tear or complete non-retracted tear.
Enhanced Stem Cells can help you avoid extended downtime and the painful rehabilitation process that traditionally follows after anterior cruciate ligament surgery. For severe or complex injuries, our orthopedic team will need to target the injured zones using sophisticated image guidance to ensure optimal delivery of the cells for a successful minimally invasive procedure.
Stem Cells for Treating Meniscus Tears
Stem Cell therapy for meniscus tears is the most common type of knee injury we treat. Surgically repairing a meniscus tear should be considered the last option. Meniscus tear repairs work by surgically removing some (partial meniscectomy), or all of a critical structure in the knee. For most cases, we see, a minimally invasive combination of stem cells, PRP, and post-therapy physical rehabilitation is usually a safer and better option. (24178764)
The meniscus is a crescent-shaped fibrocartilaginous structure that acts as both spacers between the femur and tibia while also providing shock absorption capabilities for the knee joint. It can be an effective shock absorber by equally distributing any blunt forces across the knee joints. A meniscus is composed of living fibrocartilage tissue, and each knee has two menisci.
- A medial meniscus (closer to the inside)
- A lateral meniscus (closer to the outside)
For various biomechanical reasons, most injuries occur on the medial meniscus.
Knee Meniscus Tears & Cartilage Loss
The medial meniscus is usually the most injured part of a knee. Most acute traumatic meniscus tears we treat happen due to sudden and traumatic twisting of the knees. For some elderly patients, traumatic injuries and meniscus tears are caused over the gradual weakening of the meniscus as a result of degenerative or arthritic joints. Meniscus tears are usually described by the position/location of the damage (posterior or anterior) and which one of the two menisci that were injured (lateral or medial) Some examples for meniscus tears include:
Meniscus Flap Tears or unstable meniscus tears: This type of meniscus injuries/flap tears occur in the inner rim and usually involve a small part of the meniscus. This type of damage is not able to heal without intervention since the area in the knee does not have an adequate blood supply. Most traditional orthopedic surgeons like to “trim” or “shave” (remove) the meniscus that leads to other long term knee issues. Use caution if considering surgical intervention as stem cells are a better alternative to repair the tear and bring back stabilized the full range of motion.
Bucket Handle Meniscus Tear: Bucket handle meniscus tears are usually more painful than other types of tears. When the entire inner rim of the medial meniscus is torn it is called a “bucket handle tear” due to it looking like a handled bucket. These types of tears usually always occur in an area with good blood supply, and if caught early, they can be sutured back into place. Alternatively, enhanced stem cell infusions + paracrine signaling can also be used to accomplish the same repair without any risk and downtime associated with surgery.
Bucket Handle Tear
A Medial Meniscus Tear: The Medial menisci can be found in the inner side of our knee joints. The torn medial meniscus diagnosis usually describes the severity of tear on the medial meniscus that is often caused by traumatic injury or sudden change of force or direction that occur in sports such as skiing, basketball, football, soccer, and volleyball. This type of injury can also occur due as a result of repetitive use injuries like long-distance running, track and field, and cycling along with long term degenerative knees in older patients. Stem cell therapies can treat medial meniscus tears and cartilage damage very efficiently and without the need for surgical intervention.(25990685)
Complex Degenerative Meniscus Tears: Degenerative meniscus tears are most commonly found in middle-aged or elderly patients due to decades of repetitive stresses that have severely weakened the meniscal tissue. Unlike acute traumatic tears, Degenerative meniscus tears are not sudden and are more symptomatic. Common symptoms of degenerative meniscus tears include:
- Pain along the joint line
- Catching and locking
Degenerative meniscal tears in the knees are sometimes associated with Lupus, osteoarthritis, and degenerative joint diseases. These types of tears are commonly associated with osteoarthritis of the knees and cause the menisci to tear or fray in multiple directions. With that many tears, most surgeons do not try to repair surgically since it likely will cause more harm than good. If traumatic meniscus tears are left untreated, they can often lead to peripheral neuropathy and arthritis. For such degenerative knee injuries, the regen center offers an aggressive stem cell protocol with PRP and growth factors to heal the area using our bodies natural repair mechanisms.
Recently published studies have shown that meniscus removal surgeries are no more effective than not having surgery or just having physical therapy. Surgical meniscus removal creates much higher impact forces inside the knees, and it’s estimated that removing as little as 10% of the knee meniscus tissue can increase overall knee joint stress about 65%. When more than half (50%) of the menisci is surgically removed through surgery, the stress levels increases exponentially leading to more failure and more knee surgeries and ultimately left with the option of a total knee replacement surgery which generally lasts only 15-20 years before needing to be replaced yet again with another surgery.
Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy for Cartilage Loss
Please note the Regeneration Center protocol require proper isolation, expansion, and multi-stage delivery of stem cells that will require 10-21 days in total. The cellular therapy for knees does not require surgery, or overnight hospital stays, and patients can return to normal activities following the procedure. A non-surgical approach is also beneficial by avoiding the risk of lengthy and painful rehabilitation needed after invasive knee joint surgeries. Cartilage stem cell injections help promote naturally anti-inflammatory agents, such as cytokines and contain essential growth factors, which help stimulate tissue growth. Proper rehabilitation is recommended to help restore the strength, range-of-motion, and mobility of the knee joints to pre-injury levels.(25426260)
Are Stem Cell Infusions Safe?
Hematopoietic Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapies have been used for over 45 years now and are very safe, effective alternative therapy. With several thousand injections already been performed by our medical team, we have never had a single case that reported adverse side effects.
TREATMENT PRECAUTIONS & RISKSStem Cell Therapy for Knee Injuries and Knee Arthritis are not appropriate for all cases. Patients without a proper diagnosis, old injuries, unidentifiable tissue damage, complete tears, travel restrictions, or severe structural problems may not qualify for the 2-3 week course.
Stem Cell Treatments for Knee Arthritis & Knee Joint Repair
The number of Cell Infusions Per Knee: Total number of cells and infusion points depend on patient needs and the severity of the injury.
Type of Cells Used and Injection Locations: Knee regeneration protocol requires enhanced Mesenchymal cells (MSC+) from the patient (Autologous). For multiple injuries or severe degeneration, we need endogenous MSC+ cells along with osteogenic & cartilage growth factors. The Regeneration center therapy for knee joints does not require surgery and depending on the area of injury. The cells can be delivered through localized injections, Intrathecally, or with the assistance of radio-guided imaging.
Rehabilitation Options Post Therapy: Physical Rehabilitation therapy after cells is highly recommended in Bangkok or upon return to your home. We have complete physical rehab packages available in Bangkok, Phuket, or Chiang Mai depending on your travel/time constraints. Our rehabilitation program is available upon request for 2-3 hours per day and up to 5 days per week. Thai Medical visas or hotel accommodations for the patient and family can also be provided upon request.
Total Treatment Length: Estimated time for stem cell knee injuries is 10-21 days in Bangkok (depending on the severity of the underlying injury)
After Stem Cell Therapy for Knees
Post Knee Therapy Guidelines
Due to the varying degrees of injuries, our orthopedic team will need to conduct a virtual consultation with all potential patients. This can be done online using the patient’s current medical records such as recent Radiology tests (MRI scan or CT Scans) along with reports from the patients’ primary care orthopedic doctors. Once the review is complete, we can know for sure if the patient is a candidate and provide a detailed plan that will include the exact total number nights required in Bangkok, Thailand along with fixed and total medical-related costs.
If you or a loved one is suffering from degenerative knee conditions, knee injuries, difficulty standing up or walking stairs or are considering stem cell therapy instead of knee replacement surgery, you may be a candidate for our procedure. To learn more, please contact us today.