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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

Amniotic Fluid Injections To Treat Painful Knees

What is Amniotic tissue?

Amniotic tissue refers to the innermost layer of the placenta, the amniotic sac that encapsulates an unborn baby and the umbilical cord. The fluid from this tissue is laden with stem cells and hyaluronic acid, which is the same material that lubricates your knees so they move as they should. Plus, because amniotic fluid is regenerative – as it’s largely responsible for the health of a fetus – it can be used to treat inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis and reduce scarring.

How is Amniotic Tissue Sourced?

amniotic fluid injection

A pregnant woman, Credits: pexels

Amniotic tissue is obtained during a Caesarean Section (C-Section) procedure. During pregnancy, the placenta, umbilical cord, and amniotic fluid nourish the fetus and protect it from threats to its immune system. After the C-Section is performed, this tissue is often discarded; but, if the mother consents to donate it, the amniotic tissue is screened for infectious diseases and sterilized in accordance to regulations by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB). From there, the amniotic tissue can be stored for up to five years and utilized in a variety of medical applications, such as treatment of peripheral nerve injuries, leg ulcers, and osteoarthritis.

What Is Amniotic Stem Cell Injection?

Amniotic fluid injection

Injection, Credits: pexels

Amniotic stem cells that we use are derived from the amniotic sac — not an embryo. While most people may have ethical concerns about embryonic stem cell therapy, most everyone agrees that the use of amniotic stem cell therapy raises no ethical or moral questions. Harvesting amniotic stem cells is a highly regulated procedure to help ensure the health and safety of the donors and recipients.

How Does Amniotic Stem Cell Therapy Work?

Stem cell treatment takes advantage of the body’s ability to repair itself. The amniotic stem cells can jump-start the healing process by creating the cells the damaged tissues need.

Amniotic fluid is highly concentrated in stem cells, hyaluronic acid which lubricates joints and tendons, easing the pain and helping restore mobility, proteins, cytokines and other important compounds. Hyaluronic acid is the acid that is naturally occurring in the knee. Boosting your natural hyaluronic acid can help to cushion your knee so that there is less bone on bone pain.

Studies have shown that amniotic fluid is naturally regenerative and can reduce inflammation and scars. Amniotic fluid is the fluid surrounding a fetus in pregnancy also contains nutrients, hormones, and antibodies. During most pregnancies, this fluid is thrown away after birth. Now, however, consenting mothers of cesarean section babies can donate this fluid because of its amazing regenerative process. It is important to stand out that these cells come from the amniotic sac and are not part of the embryo.

Amniotic stem cell therapy is a very safe and effective treatment. More than 10,000 injections have been performed without a single reported adverse side effect. The fluid contains the growth factors that help to stimulate tissue growth, stem cell activity and naturally reduce inflammation. It also contains hyaluronic acid, which acts as a lubricant and promotes cartilage growth. While cortisone and other drugs only provide temporary pain relief, stem cells actually restore degenerated tissue while providing pain relief.

Who is a candidate for Amniotic Stem Cell Therapy?

Amniotic fluid injection

a woman with neck pain, Credits: pexels

This treatment is ideal for patients suffering from one of the following:

  1. Osteoarthritis

  2. Soft tissue or intra-articular injuries, including meniscus and cartilage

  3. Achilles tears

  4. Epicondylitis

  5. Tendon or ligament tears

  6. Sacroiliac pain

  7. Joint pain in the knee, shoulder, fingers, wrist, ankles or toes

  8. Tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow

  9. Rotator cuff injuries

  10. Wound healing

  11. Hip pain

  12. Neck pain

  13. Low back pain

What Benefits Does Amniotic Stem Cell Treatment Offer?

Amniotic fluid injection

amniotic fluid injection, Credits: pexels

  1. Amniotic stem cell therapy is very safe and effective.

  2. Amniotic stem cells rely on naturally occurring anti-inflammatory agents and contain NO STEROIDS.

  3. Amniotic stem cells help lubricate the cartilage since they contain hyaluronic acid (a natural lubricant of the joint)

  4. Amniotic stem cells contain growth factors which stimulate tissue growth.

  5. There is no risk of patient rejection with amniotic stem cells.

  6. Amniotic fluid is a highly concentrated source of stem cells. This makes it preferable over embryonic stem cells and the patient’s own stem cells (from fat or bone marrow).

  7. Safe, non-steroidal alternative to surgery

  8. Anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial

  9. All natural and drug-free

  10. Contains more than 200 growth factors

  11. Reduced recovery time

Bhattacharya et. al further stated in the study: “amniotic fluid injections present an excellent, safe, and longer lasting alternative for treating osteoarthritis due to its cushioning effect similar to hyaluronic acid and its anti-inflammatory and regenerative components.”

How do amniotic injection products compare to traditional forms of treatment for osteoarthritis?

amniotic fluid injection

knee, Credits: pexels

Studies show excellent comparisons of amniotic fluid injections versus traditional hyaluronic treatments and shows the favored option to be the amniotic fluid treatment. While the preferred treatment option of receiving hyaluronic (HA) injections has been the standard for years, it still proves to be inconclusive as to whether there are any actual beneficial effects on the osteoarthritis condition. Furthermore, studies show that curcumin is an excellent complementary treatment for arthritis, as a natural remedy for inflammation.

Amniotic fluid injections present an excellent option for the treatment of osteoarthritis. As more research is presented we will better understand the mechanisms of success behind these treatments. Regenerative medicine is proving to be a key component of patient care and successful outcomes for conditions that have had little progress in recent decades.

As confidence in these treatment options increases we will see treatments like amniotic fluid and amniotic tissue injections become the front-line therapy of choice in main stream medical practice.

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