If you struggle with cartilage damage in your knee and would like to avoid surgery, then regenerative medicine is an exciting new field of treatment to try out. Through regular injections, you may be able to regenerate the cartilage in your knee and reduce pain considerably. Top regenerative medicine specialist Professor Paul Lee to explain the various treatment options on offer, and today’s focus is on fat cells – the injection of Lipogems into the knee.
How did fat cell injection emerge as a treatment for knee joint injury?
Fat transfer is a well-recognised technique in medicine and is very popular in plastic and reconstructive medicine.
Many laboratory studies show if fat is processed correctly, they contain a very high amount of ‘Medicinal Signalling Cells’ (MSC). The concentration of these cells is a thousand times greater in fat than in bone marrow concentrate.
MSCs stimulate and direct the cartilage cells to a regenerated and repaired mode. The fat itself does not turn into cartilage, but it helps to modulate the environment.
There are published studies to confirm that fat injections can improve the quality of the cartilage, and reduce pain significantly in the knee. Not all fat cells injections are the same – the key is down to processing and of course the indication of use.
What kind of knee conditions can fat cells be used to treat?
Fat cells treatment work with most knee conditions that require healing, regulation, and regeneration. Typically these conditions are:
certain types of meniscus damage
certain types of ligament injury
Fat cells injection can also help to reduce pain in severe osteoarthritis. The MCS Cells will bind to the pain receptor within the knee joint and give the patient symptomatic relief. At this stage, the fat cells are used as a pain medication instead of as a regenerative technology.
Can it be useful to combine Lipogems with other treatments?
Lipogems is one of the ways that we process fat, but there are different techniques out there and different instruments designed to process fat and produce different results.
Fat cell injections can be used in conjunction with other regenerative treatment and sometimes it depends on the environment and the specific conditions. For example, hyaluronic acid or platelet-rich plasma can be used to enhance the effect from fat cells. Sometimes we use fat cells to enhance other cartilage cell therapy such as autologous chondrocyte implantation. It works on most joints – not just the knees.