Recovering from an ACL or MCL injuries ranks among the toughest and most common traumatic injuries suffered by athletes. Although the surgery might be able to repair the damage, the biggest part of returning back to game speed happens through physical therapy (PT) and rehabilitation (rehab). One of the cutting-edge therapies designed to optimize your PT and rehab is regenerative stem cell treatment.
Here's how to get the most out of your regenerative stem cell treatment sessions when you're recovering from a major ACL or MCL injury.
Your Stem Cells or the Lab's?
Stem cell therapies come in two varieties.
- Your Stem Cells: The first type of regenerative stem cell therapies extracts stem cells from your body and injects them back into your damaged knee. This process can be uncomfortable, particularly if you aren't fond of needles. It can also take longer because your stem cells need to be extracted from several areas on your body, processed, and then injected into your healing knee. However, because you're supplying the stem cells used in the procedure, it can be more cost-effective. Some studies have also shown that regenerative stem cell therapies utilizing patient-harvested stem cells were slightly more effective than those involving lab-created stem cells.
- The Lab's: Synthetic stem cells, derived from collagen or chorion, can be quickly delivered to your damaged knee efficiently. Although this process is likely to cost slightly more, your regenerative stem cell provider can add additional substances to reduce inflammation and improve the absorption of the stem cells into the damaged area. A quick word of warning for athletes participating in sports with doping control policies: some synthetic stem cell therapies contain human growth hormones (HGH) or other banned substances. Before seeking synthetic regenerative stem cell therapy, it's important to consult your sport's doping control agency to make sure that your treatments will not violate existing performance-enhancing drug policies.
Frequency and Timing
When and how often you receive regenerative stem cell therapy is critical.
- Frequency: regenerative stem cell therapy isn't a procedure that can be delivered on a daily basis. For knee injuries, many orthopedic surgeons recommend spacing regenerative stem cell therapy sessions two to three weeks apart.
- Timing: in addition to considering how frequently you should receive regenerative stem cell therapy, you should time your treatments to coincide with strenuous PT regiments. After receiving the therapy, you will want to rest until any swelling in your knee dissipates.
To learn more about stem cell treatment, speak to a clinic near you.