KOA is a debilitating condition. It keeps patients having the disease reluctant to continue with their daily routines, unlike a normal human being. Their efficiency and productivity hamper during the day because of how they are incapable of functioning normally – from holding a pen to running, walking, and sometimes even moving. It wouldn't be wrong to say; osteoarthritis patients live with the disease for the rest of their lives because, to date, medical experts haven't found the right techniques to eradicate the disease entirely.
Regenerative medicine, however, has taken the front seat as the treatment of diseases that don't accept regular treatments. Stem cell therapy, in particular, is a novel treatment option for patients having osteoarthritis. Several studies corroborate this statement, supporting the effectiveness of stem cells in treating knee osteoarthritis – KOA. Considering the number of patients has risen over time – in Australia, patients having osteoarthritis are expected to increase by 5.4 million by 2030. This forecast suggests there will be a 157% increase in the prevalence of disease in the next ten years. On the other hand, osteoarthritis has become one of the top four leading causes of disability worldwide – one reason why medical experts look for opportunities to come up with novel treatments for the disease.
Some of the traditional treatments for KOA include conservative disease management techniques. Such techniques happen to be:
- Application of ice on the pain points of the knee
- Compression and exercise
- Pharmacological pain management
- Knee arthroplasty
- Knee replacement
However, all such treatments don't promote disease-modifying results. Instead, they effectively help in the management of symptoms and in pain reduction. Stem Cells, on the contrary, focus on disease modification instead of helping in its management. Research studies validate the significance of stem cell therapy for its effective and safe methods of procedures.
What is Stem Cells Therapy from a Patient's Perspective?
A research study explored the effectiveness of stem cells from the perspective of patients. This research study had participants actively participate in stem cell therapy to seek alternative solutions to treat knee osteoarthritis and to help in the broken cartilage regeneration as one of the repercussions of KOA.
From their expectations to find a better solution to improve osteoarthritis symptoms, Stem cell therapy has seemed to interest a large number of patients. Such patients – after the therapy – expect efficient functioning of the body, decrement in pain, and enhanced comfort levels.
Your Key Takeaways from The Research
The research concluded by reporting the overall satisfaction of the participants from the stem cell therapies. The overall experience of the participants turned out favorable as it increased mobility and reduced pain in them. The research further estimated that the patients who were reluctant to other surgical treatments showed favorable outcomes, implying the significance stem cell therapies add to regenerative medicine.
Kenihan, L., McTier, L., & Phillips, N. (2020). Patients' expectations and experiences of stem cell therapy for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. Health Expectations, 23(5), 1300-1309. doi: 10.1111/hex.13113