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How do stem cell injection treatments compare to knee replacement surgery?

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Stem cell injection treatment involves harvesting of bone marrow from healthy bone, concentrating the chondrocytes and injecting them into a damaged joint, explains Regenexx. Knee replacement surgery involves a process in which the damaged part of the knee is removed and replaced by an artificial joint.

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Stem cell injection treatment involves collecting bone marrow cells and then concentrating and centrifuging them before injecting them into a damaged joint. These cells then produce other, specialized cells. The stem cells usually act as chondrocytes and mature to form cartilage and accelerate the healing process, reducing joint inflammation and preventing the development of scars and the loss of functionality. The advantage over replacement surgery is that it causes easier and faster recovery and allows patients to return to their normal day-to-day activities, claims Regenexx.

Knee replacement surgery involves a procedure in which the damaged parts of the knee joints are surgically removed and replaced by a metal or a plastic artificial joint, as Regenexx explains. The artificial joint is usually attached to the thigh bone, knee cap and shin with a special material or cement. The surgery is usually associated with several undesirable outcomes, including the disruption of vascularization, which may lead to the development of possibly life-threatening blood clots. It may also lead to tissue damage, since incisions into the joint have to be made during the surgery, and it may take longer to heal.

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