Would You Choose Joint Replacement Over Stem Cell Therapy?

It is not uncommon for doctors to contact us only to then decide that stem cell training is not for them. We have no problem with that. Not every clinician fully embraces the idea of regenerative medicine. If you are among that group of doctors, we want to challenge your thinking with a hypothetical question: if put in the position, would you choose joint replacement over stem cell therapy?

Our stem cell training for doctors is built around the philosophy that regenerative medicine offers a valid alternative to invasive surgeries. We would never argue that joint replacement surgery is a bad idea in every case. It’s not. Surgery has a proper place in medicine. But so does regenerative medicine.

We would encourage you to at least think about stem cell training from the perspective of offering a viable alternative to surgery. Think about what it would be like to undergo joint replacement yourself. Consider the possibility of at least trying stem cell treatment before you go under the knife. A more personal perspective may alter your view of regenerative medicine.

Pros and Cons of Joint Replacement

Joint replacement surgery has been around for more than 50 years. It really came into its own during the 1980s and 90s, with more doctors recommending it as a solution to chronic arthritis and significant injury to knees and hips. As previously stated, surgery has its proper place in medicine.

The advantages of joint replacement surgery begin with its ability to alleviate pain. There is no doubt that many patients report being either completely pain-free or enjoying a significant reduction in pain. For many, having to deal with unbearable pain is the motivating factor that sends them to surgery.

Another benefit of joint replacement is that patients often regain lost mobility. A lot of patients report a return to normal activity in the months following replacement surgery. That cannot be argued.

As for the disadvantages, they are few but very important. First and foremost is the risk of complication. All surgical procedures are invasive by nature, and they can lead to things like infection, rejection, etc. Another disadvantage is the very real risk of going through surgery and rehab only to discover the pain persists. It does happen.

Pros and Cons of Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy, as an alternative to joint replacement, offers a number of benefits. First is the fact that the procedure is minimally invasive. The extent of the invasiveness is limited to using a needle to draw the necessary material and then injecting it into the injury site.

Stem cell therapy is beneficial in that it encourages the body to heal itself rather than just replacing a part. Natural healing is preferred (as long as it works) because no foreign objects are introduced into the body. Stem cell therapy usually costs less than surgery, as well.

As for the cons, there really only is one: stem cell therapy doesn’t work for every patient in every situation. Patients respond differently to the treatments, and there is no way to tell without actually being treated. So it is possible to undergo a series of treatments and still not experience significant pain relief.

Knowing what you know about medicine – that no treatment is 100% effective – would you rather give stem cell therapy a try or immediately go under the knife to have a joint replaced? Growing numbers of patients are choosing the former, which is why we do what we do. We offer stem cell training to doctors so that they can offer their patients an alternative to surgery.