Dr. William Andrew Hodge, Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon at RAK Hospital Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: One in five UAE residents suffers from arthritis. Unhealthy, calories-laden diet, inactive lifestyle, active and passive smoking and Vitamin D deficiency further aggravate the condition, not only limiting the mobility of the patient, but also causing the joints to weaken and making patients vulnerable to injuries and causing chronic pain.

Regenerative healing therapy seems to be the way forward in the treatment of arthritis and other joint and knee issues. The ground-breaking treatment will exponentially reduce a person’s need for surgery. Instead of having to replace a knee with an artificial implant, stem cell therapy in knee-joints can be used to re-grow new and healthy tissues that have been damaged or are degenerating.

The benefits of stem cell treatment are huge and the costs involved are reasonable, the procedure is relatively quick, compared to surgery and the outpatient procedure can be done in a single day (a few hours, to be more precise). Moreover, the recovery time is minimal as you walk in and walk out of the procedure on your own, and your daily routine should stay the same. In addition, stem cell therapy for knees is natural, it uses Mesenchymal cells of the body that act as repairmen cells of the body and cultures them in the lab for treatment. As we age or suffer injuries, sometimes the body cannot get enough of these critical repair cells to the injured area. The regenerative cell therapy helps solve this problem by greatly increasing the body’s own natural cells repairing and promotes healing. This is accomplished by harvesting cells from areas of the body known to be rich in mesenchymal stem cells and then concentrating those cells in a lab before precisely re-injecting them into the damaged area in need of repair.

People who have encountered an injury to the knee or have chronic knee pain due to a past injury or arthritis are good candidates for knee stem cell therapy. The treatment is particularly useful for patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, knee injury, torn cartilage or tendons and rotator cuffs. Doctors and scientists view the growth of stem cell treatments very promising and now people in the UAE can obtain this treatment at a cost far less than they would have paid otherwise.

- The writer is Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon at RAK Hospital, Ras Al Khaimah