Torn ACL Stem Cell Treatment
Does your knee ache and swell up after vigorous physical activity? Have you been hearing a popping or crunching sound followed by pain or knee weakness? You may be suffering from a torn ACL, a common injury among physically active people and sports enthusiasts.
Regenerative medicine specialists have been performing stem cell therapies on professional athletes for over 20 years. When live stem cells are injected into damaged ligament tissue they can stimulate your cells to repair and restore your torn ACL, relieving or reducing pain while promoting the growth of new cells in your knee tissue.
The signs and symptoms are fairly straightforward:
- a loud popping sound or popping sensation in your knee
- severe knee pain and inability to walk or stand without pain
- swelling that starts within a few hours
- limited or lost range of motion
- a feeling of knee weakness when weight is applied
People who experience ACL injury are more likely to develop knee osteoarthritis, a condition that deteriorates joint cartilage and makes its smooth surface rougher. Even if you have reconstructive surgery on your ligament, arthritis may still develop.
The severity of your original injury, related knee injuries, and your level of post-injury activity may influence the incidence of arthritis.
Your ACL is the anterior cruciate ligament—one of the major ligaments in your knee. It gives your knee rotational stability and mobility. Sudden stops, jumps, or direction changes, like those often executed in basketball, soccer, football, tennis, and gymnastics can damage it, causing a partial or complete tear. Mild knee injury may overextend your ACL but not tear it.
Your healthcare provider will first perform a physical exam, checking your knee for swelling and tenderness, and moving it into different positions to assess range of motion and overall function.
A physical exam often suffices to make a diagnosis, but your provider may also recommend the following tests to rule out other causes or to determine your injury’s severity:
- X-ray: can show bone fractures, but cannot provide images of damaged soft tissues like ligaments and tendons
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): radio waves and a magnetic field create images of your tissues, showing the extent of your ACL injury and other damaged knee tissues
- Ultrasound: sound waves create images of your body’s internal structures, including soft tissues like ligaments, tendons, and muscles
Traditionally, knee replacement surgery and other invasive procedures have been the leading methods of treating a torn ACL, offering mixed results. For over 20 years clinical trials have been demonstrating promising results of stem cell injections as an efficacious ACL and knee tissue treatment.
An ACL tear may be treated by injecting 5 million live-nucleated cells into your injured knee tissue. Live-nucleated cells, including mesenchymal stem cells, are harvested from an umbilical cord shortly after a mother gives birth. The umbilical cord is the leading source of viable mesenchymal stem cells.
When your provider injects stem cells into an area near injured tissue, they may inhibit damaging inflammation and regulate your immune system. At the same time, mononucleated cells produce growth factors that increase vasculature, repair damaged cells, and stimulate tissue regeneration with growth factors, proteins, and cytokines.