Knee Injuries and Pain



Arthritis

Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more of your joints. The most common type of arthritis to occur in the knee is osteoarthritis, which is a progressive disease that slowly wears away joint cartilage, causing the bones in the knee joint to rub together, ultimately resulting in pain, swelling, stiffness, and a decreased ability to move. Osteoarthritis will typically be present in middle-aged patients. Rheumatoid arthritis can happen at any age. Post-traumatic arthritis can develop after an injury, like a fracture, torn ligament, or a torn meniscus.

While there is no cure for arthritis, there are a number of treatments to help ease the pain and reduce the chances of it becoming worse. A knee brace is often used to stabilize the kneecap and help it move correctly. Painkillers (analgesics) and anti-inflammatory medicines are also used for relief of symptoms. Steroid injections are sometimes given directly into a particularly painful knee joint and will usually last for several weeks or months. Knee replacement surgery is an option to give substantial relief in cases where other treatments fail, but surgery can be painful and take a while to heal. With the use of stem cell technology, stem cells may effectively restore degenerated tissue while providing pain relief, in a manner that requires little to no rehabilitation. Learn more…

Patellofemoral Syndrome/Chondromalacia Patella

Chondromalacia patella is the abnormal softening of the cartilage under the kneecap that causes pain in the front of the knee. The kneecap is normally pulled over the end of the femur in a straight line by the quadriceps. Chondromalacia patella results from the degeneration of cartilage, due to poor alignment of the kneecap (patella) as it slides over the lower end of the femur. This process is sometimes referred to as patellofemoral syndrome and may be caused by overuse, excess weight, or injury to the knee.

Patellofemoral Syndrome can be relieved by avoiding activities like sitting, squatting, or kneeling in the bent-knee position for long periods of time. Using a knee brace or taking anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help reduce swelling and relieve some of the pain. Although surgery is an option, stem cell treatments can effectively treat the symptoms of this injury and help the body to repair itself, without the risks or rehabilitation that come with surgery. Learn more…

Pes Anserine Bursitis

The pes anserine bursa is a small lubricating sac between the tibia and the hamstring muscle. Bursitis of the knee occurs when constant friction on the bursa causes it to become inflamed. Overuse of the hamstrings, especially in athletes and runners, is a common cause of this. Improper training and uphill running can also contribute to the condition. Traumatic injury to the knee can create a contusion to this area, resulting in an increased release of synovial fluid in the lining of the bursa, which brings inflammation and sometimes pain.

Typically not treated with surgery, pes anserine bursitis can be controlled with the use of physical therapy and sometimes injections of local anesthetics or corticosteroids. Some doctors may recommend complete removal of the bursa, but this can cause related problems in years to come. Stem cell injections can heal the inflamed region without having to remove it. Through regenerative stem cell therapy, the bursa can be healed effectively and the associated pain and inflammation can be reduced much more quickly. Learn more…

Baker’s Cyst

Also known as a popliteal cyst, a Baker’s cyst is a swelling that occurs in the space behind the knee, producing a pain or tightening in the knee joint. The swelling is brought on by a build-up of lubrication (or synovial fluid) in the popliteal bursa sac. Usually the result of arthritis or a cartilage tear in the knee joint, the pain caused by a Baker’s cyst typically worsens if the patient flexes or extends the knee.

A Baker’s cyst often gets better on its own and eventually disappears. However, it may continue for months or even years before it goes away. If the pain persists, there are several options to help relieve the symptoms. Anti-inflammatory medication and ice may help the swelling go down, as well as wearing support stockings to provide compression. Sometimes doctors will drain the excess fluid from the knee joint, however Baker’s cysts commonly reform over time. If a cyst is particularly large or painful it can be removed surgically, but may reform if the initial cause isn’t fixed. Stem cell therapy can be used to rapidly regenerate the tissue in the knee joint, in an effort to prevent the cyst from returning. Learn more…

Patellar Tendonitis

The patellar tendon connects the kneecap (patella) to the shinbone (tibia). Patellar Tendonitis occurs when stress is placed on the supporting structures of the knee, resulting in a burning pain just below the patella. Although it most commonly affects athletes whose sports involve a lot of running and jumping, patellar tendonitis can happen to anybody at anytime. Physical activities, tight muscles, and muscular imbalance are all factors that contribute to the injury. Stretching the hamstrings before running or jumping can significantly decrease the chances of this to occur.

Typically, the first step in treating patellar tendonitis is getting any swelling to go down, followed by a variety of physical therapy sessions involving stretching and strengthening the muscles in the leg or legs. Stem cell injections can be given in an effort to heal and regenerate any torn tissue in the tendon without surgery. Surgery is rarely needed in this instance, but may be suggested if nothing else has improved the condition. In this case, damaged tissue is removed and the injured tendon is repaired, followed by physical therapy. Learn more…

Meniscus Tear

Meniscus tears are among the most common knee injuries, in which forceful twisting or hyper-flexing, usually when the foot is planted and the knee is bent, cause certain tissues in the knee to tear. Depending on the severity of the injury, symptoms of a torn meniscus include knee pain, swelling, popping, and giving way without warning. Because other knee problems cause similar symptoms, your doctor may order x-rays or MRIs to help confirm the diagnosis.

Treating the injury usually depends on the location of the tear. The outside of the meniscus may heal on its own, with the help of anti-inflammatory medicines and the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). If the injury is on the inner 2/3 of the meniscus, surgery may be suggested to repair the damage. In many cases, surgeons often have to remove tissue from the meniscus to do this. As a safer alternative to surgery, stem cell therapy may be used to regenerate the torn tissue with a virtually painless injection.

MCL Sprain or Tear

The MCL, or medial collateral ligament, is the band of tissue on the inside of your knee that connects your thighbone to the bone of your lower leg and keeps the knee from bending inward. This ligament can be stretched or torn to the point where the knee joint becomes unstable. Injuries to the MCL are usually caused by a force that pushes the knee sideways. These are often contact injuries, but can also occur while doing activities with lots of stop-and-go movements, jumping, or weaving. Symptoms of a torn or sprained MCL include swelling, bruising, or pain. The pain may increase after some time and it might become harder to bend the knee.

On average, it takes about six weeks for an MCL injury to heal with rest, ice, and anti-inflammatories. Your doctor may suggest that you use crutches and wear a knee brace, while reducing your activities for a few weeks. A more severe tear may need surgery, but this usually isn’t done unless other parts of the knee are injured as well. Surgery also requires months of rehabilitation to regain strength, range-of-motion, and balance. A more non-invasive option would be the use of stem cell regenerative treatments, allowing the patient to avoid the painful period of downtime and rehabilitation.

ACL Sprain or Tear

An ACL injury is the over-stretching or tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee. The ACL typically sprains during one of the following knee movements: a sudden stop; a twist, pivot or change in direction at the joint; hyperextension; or a direct impact to the outside of the knee or lower leg. Sometimes the injury is so severe, the ligament can split or tear. Pain, swelling, and a loud pop or snap are symptoms of an ACL tear. Usually these are accompanied with a feeling of looseness in the joint and the inability to put weight on the injured knee.

Initial treatment of a torn or sprained ACL may include resting the knee, applying ice, using gentle compression, elevating the leg, and taking anti-inflammatory pain medicines. Crutches or splints may be used for the first few weeks, but if used for too long, crutches and splints can weaken the muscles from too little activity and the knee will become stiff and restricted. Surgery to reconstruct the ACL and repair other injuries, such as a meniscus tear may be recommended, but research suggests that injected stem cells may deliver faster recovery and prevent recurrence of ligament and tendon injuries.

PCL Sprain or Tear

The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) keeps the tibia from moving backwards too far. PCL injuries are not as common as an injury to the ACL and are often due to a blow to the knee while it’s bent. More often than not, the injury is a result from a trip or a fall, but is known to happen during automobile accidents or contact sports. When the PCL is sprained or torn, the patient will start to notice some pain, swelling, and a feeling of instability. Often times, the signs and symptoms can be so mild that you might not even notice anything wrong. Although, over a period of time, a PCL tear can lead to osteoarthritis.

Surgery is not required in most case, as long as there are no other injuries involved. Icing, elevating, and bracing the knee will eventually lead to recovery. When surgery is the only option, it requires replacing the ligament with new tissue rather than stitching together the existing torn ligament. As with the other ligament tears, regeneration of the tissue has been successful in some cases through stem cell therapy.

LCL Sprain or Tear

The lateral collateral ligament (LCL) is a thin band of tissue running along the outside of the knee. It connects the thighbone (femur) to the fibula, which is the small bone of the lower leg that turns down the side of the knee and connects to the ankle. Like the MCL, the lateral collateral ligament’s main function is to keep the knee stable as it moves through its full arc of motion.

The main cause of LCL injuries is direct force to the inside of the knee. This puts pressure on the outside of the knee and causes the ligament to stretch or tear. The symptoms of a torn or sprained LCL may include swelling or stiffness in the knee, pain or soreness on the outside of the knee, or an overall feeling like the knee is going to give out.

Physical therapy is usually the path to take towards strengthening and regaining range of motion in the knee, but first splinting, icing, and elevating the knee must be done to reduce any swelling that has occurred. Unfortunately, all of this slows down the healing process. A more effective treatment, like stem cell therapy, is one that will regenerate the ligament and stimulate healing of the original ligament rather than surgically replacing it. Injuries to the LCL aren’t usually treated with surgery. However, the LCL is often injured in conjunction with other ligaments, in which case, surgery is likely recommended.

Instability

Knee instability is the sensation of the knee giving out and is usually the result of an injury to a ligament. Injuries to one or more ligaments can lead to the two sides of the joint not being held tightly enough in position. Usually symptoms of instability occur with twisting or side-to-side movements. Knee swelling, called a knee effusion, can also make the knee feel unstable by increasing the space between the femur, tibia, and patella.

Initial treatment consists of a hinged knee brace and crutches for pain relief. The patient can then start isometric and range of motion exercises immediately. When the patient can walk without limping, crutches are taken away. Depending on the cause of instability, follow up treatment may include the use of anti-inflammatory drugs and possibly even reconstructive surgery. If surgery is needed, there is another option. Injections of stem cells can cause any torn tissue to rebuild itself, without the pains and risks of open surgery.

Biceps Femoris Insertional Tendinopathy

The biceps femoris tendon is located in the lower portion of the hamstring muscle that attaches directly to the back of the knee. Its main purpose is to assist in bending the knee and extending the hip. Biceps femoris insertional tendinopathy is the condition that occurs as a result of irritation of the biceps femoris muscle. While excessively running and jumping, small tears can develop as a result of overuse and these tears lead to scar tissue and adhesions. This makes the tendon thicker and tighter, creating a pulling sensation at the insertion point.

To reduce any pain or swelling, staying off the leg and applying ice are typically advised. Along with anti-inflammatory or pain medications, when needed. If the pain persists after a period of time, surgery or steroid injections may sometimes be suggested. Many people with biceps femoris insertional tendinopathy do not want to resort to surgery or risk the side effects associated with steroid injections, so an easier, safer alternative would be the injection of one’s own stem cells to treat the injury and essentially regrow the damaged tissue.

Hamstring Tendinopathy

Hamstring tendinopathy is an inflammation of the hamstring tendon as it attaches to the ischial tuberosity at the top of the back of the thigh. It can follow a tear of the hamstring from overuse, most common in athletes. Symptoms include pain and tenderness at the ischial tuberosity just under the buttocks. Pain is most likely to be felt when stretching the hamstring muscles.

Reducing inflammation through rest, ice, or cold therapy is usually the first step in treating this condition. Once pain and inflammation is gone, the patient can begin developing a program of stretching and strengthening. A more serious injury may cause the muscle to tighten or weaken, which can be treated with deep-tissue massage. A doctor may recommend NSAID’s or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as the use electrotherapy. Occasionally, fibrous adhesions may develop on the tendon that can irritate the sciatic nerve as it passes above the Ischial tuberosity and then down past the biceps femoris muscle. This condition is known as hamstring syndrome and may require surgery. Some physicians prefer the regenerative process of stem cell injections to treat this syndrome.

Using Adult Stem Cell Therapy to Delay Total Knee Replacement

A Patient’s Perspective on Adult Stem Cell Therapy


Adult Stem Cell Therapy FAQs