Stem cell treatment for a meniscus tear is a non-surgical procedure of injecting the in-vitro-grown mesenchymal stem cells into the patient’s knee, providing the stimulus that the body needs to start repairing itself.
Stem cell treatments generally involve injecting stem cells into the patient’s body, increasing their concentration in the part of the body that needs repairing. They then communicate with the nervous system to repair the damage that has been done. In the case of a torn meniscus, they are working with the immune system to repair the damage caused to the menisci (plural of meniscus) due to a suffered injury and, in some cases, help grow a part of it that was removed due to surgery.
A meniscus tear is a common knee injury that usually occurs when twisting your knee or turning it sharply, usually while the foot itself is firmly planted on the ground and the knee is bent. It is also a common sports injury and can happen more easily with age, as the meniscus gets worn out.
There are three types of torn menisci. They vary according to the severity and each level of severity has its own symptoms:
The stem cell clinics offering treatment for torn meniscus is a two-step process: extracting the mesenchymal stem cells from the patient’s bone marrow (or fat tissue), and then re-injecting them into the knee. Upon entering the body, the stem cells start communicating with the nervous system and repairing the meniscus, both by transforming into the cells that repair the meniscus and by bringing more oxygen to the place (everything heals with oxygen).
The extraction of stem cells is done via bone marrow aspiration, which includes numbing your hip and inserting a small needle into the hip bone to take a small bone marrow sample. This procedure does not hurt at all, and was, in fact, described by patients as a comfortable process.
The stem cells are then grown in vitro and injected into the knee via a single injection. That is usually enough to start the regeneration process for the meniscus. However, if the tear is severe, then it might be possible that another injection, a month after the first one, might be required.
The main benefit of the stem cell therapy for a meniscus tear is the fact that the repairs itself using its own material. All the doctors do is give the repairing cells in your body a little nudge so that they are applied to the place of the injury, where they are needed.
Also, this procedure seems to be preferable to other methods of dealing with torn meniscus, especially for severely torn menisci, since the only solution for those is a surgery and a long rehabilitation period (around 3 months). With stem cell treatment, the rehabilitation period is cut to around a month, with a minimally invasive procedure.
Being that this is a stem cell treatment, there is no singular price to name. The average price for a treatment is somewhere around $10,000, although the cost of the price depends, mainly on the severity of the injury and whether more than one application of stem cells is required. Also, as stem cell treatment is a relatively new field, there is no standardization of prices. Instead, they vary on a clinic to clinic basis. In countries where the costs or living and medical expenses are lower, it might be possible to find cheaper therapies.
It is very important to check the doctor who will perform the treatment, as well as the clinic where it will be performed. Find out who the doctor is and inquire about him/her. The main thing to inquire about is whether they have had any experience with stem cell treatments before, and specifically with stem cell treatments for meniscus tear. Also, if it is at all possible, get in touch with someone who has done the procedure before, or check online for such patients, and see what they have had to say about the procedure and the results. This will give you a clearer picture of whether or not you should choose a particular clinic and a particular doctor.
If you are already suffering from a meniscus tear and want to know how stem cell therapy can help you, feel free to contact us and find out more.
Stem Cell Therapy Abroad