By Heidi Schweder, APRN
The knee joint is both the largest joint in the body and one of the most complex. It is comprised of bones, cartilage, muscles, ligaments and tendons, all of which work together to allow us the flexibility to move and the stability to stand.
Because the knee plays such an important part in our day-to-day lives, problems with the knee can be quite debilitating. In fact, knee problems are one of the leading causes of lost time from work.
Knee problems can affect anyone – young and old, male and female – but they are more prevalent among women and those over the age of 55. Those who are overweight, whose occupations stress the knee, and those with prior injuries to the knee are also at greater risk for knee pain.
Finding relief can be a frustrating exercise. But if you’ve been diagnosed with any of a variety of knee problems, you already know this. In all likelihood, you’ve been suffering for months, or even years, taking anti-inflammatory medications, trying braces and rubs and searching for a non-surgical, non-steroidal treatment.
Fortunately, there is a new treatment available that offers hope for those with knee pain. It’s called Amniotic Regenerative Cell Therapy, or RCT, and it’s now available at Millpond Integrative Health and Wellness Center in Lexington.
RCT works by supporting the body’s own healing powers, providing three essential ingredients for the restoration of joint health:
• A high concentration of regenerative cells
• Hyaluronic acid for joint lubrication and movement
• Anti-inflammatory cytokines and cellular growth factors essential for building new joint tissue
One of the most important benefits of RCT is that it actually has the potential to alter the course of the disease, not merely mask the pain. Amniotic cell injections also contain hyaluronan, which eases pain and restores mobility by lubricating joints and tendons. Some studies have shown that RCT may actually repair structural problems while also treating the pain and inflammation that accompany it.
RCT has been successfully used to treat:
Meniscus tear – The meniscus are thick, rubbery pads of cartilage that rest between the femur and tibia. They act as shock absorbers during movement. When someone says they have torn cartilage, the injury is usually to the meniscus.
Knee degeneration – Degeneration of the joints can occur in any joint but is especially common in those that experience a lot of wear and tear, such as the knees. Joint degeneration generally develops over time, but can suddenly worsen and become severe and disabling. Articular cartilage, which covers the interior surface of the knee cap and the ends of the tibia and femur, can begin to dehydrate and deteriorate, or may become injured. When this occurs, the joint cannot move as freely, leading to inflammation, swelling, bone spurs, and other painful symptoms. RCT targets damaged and deteriorating tissues, helping to reverse the damage and reliving inflammation.
Injury to the ACL/PCL – Two ligaments in the back of the knee are responsible for the forward/backward motion of the knee joint: the anterior cruciate ligament and the posterior cruciate ligament. These ligaments form an X (thus the name cruciate).
These thick bands of tissue connect the bones comprising the knee joint. Injuries to these ligaments are painful, debilitating, and can be challenging to heal. In the past, the most common treatment for a torn ACL or PCL was arthroscopic surgery and reconstruction. Regenerative medicine makes effective, natural treatment of PCL and ACL injuries possible.
Runner’s knee – Also known as chondromalacia, includes inflammation of the underside of the kneecap and deterioration of the supporting cartilage. When this occurs, it becomes difficult to bend or straighten the leg. Runners knee is common among young athletes but may also occur in older individuals with osteoarthritis of the knee. RCT targets specific areas of inflammation and injury to aid in the restoration of damaged tissues.
Amniotic cell therapy also has applications for treating Achilles tendonitis, rotator cuff tendonitis, and degenerative arthritis.
The course of treatment with RCT varies from person to person. Most people experience relief with the first treatment while others may require several treatments to achieve full relief.
To help ensure the best outcomes and reasonable expectations for our patients, Millpond provides patients with an advanced assessment prior to beginning treatment. Patients play an important role in the success of the treatment. In addition to RCT, patients are provided with recommendations for lifestyle changes, physical therapy where indicated, and other instructions to increase the opportunity for success.
For more information about amniotic regenerative cell therapy at Millpond Integrative Health and Wellness Center, please call (859) 208-0035. Millpond is conveniently located at 3650 Boston Road, Suite 188 in Lexington. For your convenience, we offer evening hours.
Dr. Justin Pearce is the founder of Millpond
Integrative Health and Wellness Center, located at 3650 Boston Road, Suite 188, Lexington.
New patients are always welcome. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (859) 219-0617.