Tendon and ligament injuries are very common clinical problems because human’s everyday life requires physical activities. With more than 30 million tendon and ligament injuries occurring annually worldwide, there is a huge need for the joint that gets damaged to be safely protected and heal. Otherwise, its’ disorder can lead to an early onset of osteoarthritis, pain and disability that can diminish the quality of a human life and make it harder.
Today, these injuries are managed by two approaches : conservative treatment and surgical excision and repair. The problem with these procedures is that the treated tendon heals slowly and is not able to regain its full function. This is caused by the poor nonexistence of tissue regeneration.
That is why stem cell therapies for tendon and ligament injuries have great potential in healing. Stem cell therapies are promising because of stem cell’s high proliferative, synthetic and immunomodulatory activities and their ability to differentiate to the target cell types and undergo genetic modification.
Stem cell treatment for tendon and ligament procedure is a same-day procedure because the stem cells are harvested and reinjected in the same day.
The best stem cells required to promote musculoskeletal healing that involves tendon and ligament are Mesenchymal stem cells. Those stem cells can be harvested from bone marrow, periosteum, trabecular bone, adipose tissue, synovium, skeletal muscle and deciduous teeth. Mesenchymal stem cells are essential to successful patient outcome.
Mesenchymal stem cells, or MSC, are the best for the procedure of treating tendon and ligaments because of their availability in several tissues, including in the fluid inside of joint and their ability to differentiate into cells of the chondrogenic lineage.
Mesenchymal stem cells have the properties of anti-infammatory, anti-apoptotic and anti-fibrotic. They can mature into cartilage and bone and because of their reparative nature, these stem cells can modify the existent destructive processes caused by tendon or ligament injury.
Due to our often physical activities, we are almost always very exposed to tendon and ligament injuries. Especially for athletes, this represents a danger that can potentially disturb or even ruin their careers. That is why the safety of our physical activities and especially sports and fitness activities is vital.
The main causes of tendon and ligament injuries are :
When it comes to risk factors, women in sports are more likely to suffer from these injuries than men because they exhibit a strength imbalance in their thighs with the muscles at the front of the thigh being stronger than the muscles at the back.
Also, studies have shown that women athletes are more likely to land from a jump in a way that increases stress on their knees.
The main symptoms of tendon and ligament injuries are :
These symptoms need medical attention and if the person experiences them, he or she needs to visit the doctor as soon as possible so there would be no bonus complications that would make the treatment harder and longer.
Exercising and strengthening these parts of the body will decrease the person’s risk of having his tendon and ligament injured
As already mentioned, the biggest advantage of stem cell therapies for tendon and ligament injuries biggest is enabling the tissue regeneration by producing growth factors which results into faster healing of treated tendon or ligament and the possibility of it regaining the full functionality.
Stem cell therapies also provide the safest and most effective non-surgical method to repair the damaged tendon and ligament.
Also, stem cells injection procedure happens within a single day and is reliable alternative. Patients who choose stem cell therapy are able to quickly return to normal activities and avoid the painful and lengthy rehabilitation periods.
Patients are as well much less vulnerable to the risks of surgeries, such as infection and blood clots.
The cost for stem cell therapies is different in different countries. However, for example, joint replacement surgery costs around $50,000. Stem cell therapies cost about $12,000 in China, $10,000 in Germany. In Mexico, it costs from $2,000 and in Czech Republic the price is $3,000.
The doctor for tendon and ligament injuries is called orthopedist. Choosing the right orthopedist and clinic for treating person’s condition is very important due to the dangerous complications that can develop from the injured ligament and tendon.
The patient needs to understand the level of his condition and analyze the best type of treatment he needs. He needs to select the well-educated doctor with huge experience in this medical field and, in order to have the safe and efficient treatment, patient also needs to review the clinic’s and doctor’s reputation together with the equipment and methods used.
If choosing the stem cell therapy, it is crucial that a patient asks where the stem cells come from and if the orthopedist will retrieve them from the patient’s own bone marrow or fat tissues or from the donor’s. Patient must speak to their doctors about the potential risk and benefits.
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