Stem Cell Therapy Offers Knee Replacement Alternative
Fat transfer is a great way to get the shape you want using your own fat, but did you know fat can also be used for other things as well. Using embryonic stem cells in medical research is a controversial topic. Using adult stem cells to cure disease has nothing to do with embryos and is showing great promise for curing a wide variety of chronic conditions. As Lesley Mouton shows us, doctors are using stem cells to heal without surgery.
Elsa Rosa can’t walk without pain. Doctors say she needs two knee replacements. Instead, she’s trying something new: stem cells harvested from her own body to heal her knee.
“I would like to be active again. You know, I’m young at heart", says Elsa.
Doctors use liposuction to extract fat cells from Elsa’s abdomen. The cells are separated, concentrated, and treated. The doctor injects her own stem cells back into Elsa’s knee where they will grow and hopefully heal the damage.
“It’s a great option for Elsa because, you know, we’re seeing about 85 percent of knees respond”, says Dr. Johnson
Stem cells harvested from your own body have the ability to reproduce and become cartilage bone and muscle.
“Well, it is remarkable and I think that we’re seeing some really remarkable changes and responses in a lot of our patients”, says Dr. Johnson
“I think I’ve gone through enough pain and so I don’t need any more”, says Elsa.
Elsa is just hoping to walk again pain-free without going through the discomfort of knee replacement surgery or the inconvenience of rehab.
Adult stem cells are being used in clinical trials all over the country to treat everything from chronic pain to joint problems in COPD. The FDA still considers stem cell therapy “investigational” and insurance companies typically won’t cover the procedure.