If you’ve ever experienced pain in your hips, you know how debilitating it can be. The hip joint is one of the body’s biggest and strongest joints. As such, it supports much of our body’s weight and helps us move in multiple ways. When an injury or even just advancing age threatens its structural integrity, the resulting instability, inflammation and pain can make the simplest of activities an agonizing endeavor. The good news is, today, there are more options than ever for treating hip degeneration. In addition to standard treatments such as rest, medication and physical therapy, many patients can avoid surgery (including total hip replacement) using stem cells. Read on to learn how stem cells offer hip pain treatment without surgery:
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What is Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cell therapy is not new. It has been studied and used in humans for over 60 years to treat multiple types of diseases, especially blood-related ones like leukemia and lymphoma. In the last 20 years, however, science has evolved exponentially, with research confirming the effectiveness of using stem cells as a way to treat chronic degenerative disease. Indeed, many physicians now offer stem cell therapy as an option to treat degenerative hip conditions, in particular, hip arthritis and hip labral tears, because it is less invasive and provides quicker symptom relief than traditional hip pain treatment options.
How Do Stem Cells Offer Hip Pain Treatment Without Surgery?
A hip stem cell treatment is an autologous procedure wherein stem cells are harvested from a patient’s own body (usually from fat and/or bone marrow), combined with his or her own platelet rich plasma (PRP) and then injected into the patient’s damaged hip tissue. Unlike surgery, which carries multiple risks and often requires an extensive recovery period. Stem cell therapy is performed in an in-office procedure suite, and is a very minimally-invasive procedure. Patients usually walk unassisted from our office after only two to three hours.
How Does Stem Cell Therapy for Hip Pain Work?
Degeneration in any tissue structure occurs when new cells can not replace old cells fast enough. Stem cell therapy can address this problem because most stem cells have the unique ability to become other types of cells regardless of their origin. This is important, since most tissues are generated from like cells: heart cells give rise only to heart cells; skin cells to skin cells; liver cells to liver cells; and so on. Stem cells, however, (both embryonic and adult stem cells) don’t just have the ability to produce more stem cells, they have the ability to “transform” into other types of cells. It’s an exciting discovery that has opened up possible treatment options for a variety of conditions and catapulted the field of regenerative medicine into the forefront of clinical practice. Once injected into damaged tissue, research demonstrates the ability of stem cells to promote new cellular growth by releasing paracrine signals and growth factors that inhibit cell death, reduce inflammation, increase blood flow, accelerate healing and help build fibrin scaffolding on which new tissue can grow. Thus, even in tissue that has deteriorated and has few remaining healthy cells with which it can replicate, physicians can introduce stem cells to help improve the health of the joint space.
Want to Learn More?
Stem cells offer an exciting and effective way to treat hip pain without surgery. If you or a loved one would like to learn more about using stem cell therapy to treat hip conditions such as hip arthritis and hip labral tears, please contact our office.